Bengals vs. Steelers record and final score for Cincinnati’s triumph in Pittsburgh
The Cincinnati Bengals beat the Steelers in Pittsburgh for the first time since 2015. It was Zac Taylor’s first win at Heinz Field, and for the second time this season he has a winning record.
The Steelers were beaten, missing TJ Watt and Alex Highsmith. As a result, their pass rush struggled to reach Joe Burrow and couldn’t take advantage of Jackson Carman on his first career start, or the fact that Tee Higgins was out for Cincinnati. The Steelers ended a 75-game streak in the NFL with at least one sack.
Things didn’t look good for them on offense either. While Ben Roethlisberger passed over 300 yards, most of that distance came after the capture. Roethlisberger only completed a handful of passes that traveled more than five yards in the air.
The Bengals and Steelers traded goods until Sam Hubbard punched Roethlisberger and forced an interception. Logan Wilson picked up the ball for his second pick of the season, and the Bengals had the ball in Steelers territory for the first time.
The first touchdown in the games came from Tyler Boyd, who hails from western Pennsylvania. He caught the ball and got a first down but broke a tackle from Melvin Ingram and ran the rest of the way for a 17-yard touchdown. Evan McPherson’s extra point was good and the Bengals had a 7-0 lead with 2:54 left in the first quarter.
For the first possessions, the Steelers totaled 14 yards on offense, but lost 26 yards on penalties. Their only first try of the first quarter came from a pass interference call on Chidobe Awuzie, which was an uncertain call as the ball landed five yards out of bounds on this play.
First quarter for the Steelers: 13 games, 16 yards.
– Paul Dehner Jr. (@pauldehnerjr) September 26, 2021
Average yards per play in the first quarter:
NIC – 6.1
PIT – 1.2
– Ben baby (@Ben_Baby) September 26, 2021
Midway through the second quarter, the Steelers finally began to gain yards. Najee Harris has had several carries over 10 yards, and Steelers receivers have consistently extended passes for huge gains. The Steelers made it to the four-yard line where Roethlisberger gave the ball to Pat Freiermuth for a quick touchdown. Chris Boswell got the extra point and with 1:04 left in the half, the Steelers tied the game at seven points apiece.
The Bengals got the ball back and wanted to score before half-time. A 19-yard pass to Mike Thomas put the Bengals in Steelers territory. Burrow then did what he does best and threw a touchdown lob at Ja’Marr Chase. With the score of 34 yards, Chase now had one touchdown pass in three straight games.
Chase is now the 9th player in NFL history to catch a TD assist in each of his first three games in the league.
– Jay Morrison (@JayMorrisonATH) September 26, 2021
With the extra point, the Bengals had a 14-7 lead in the locker room.
Overall, the Steelers offense didn’t look particularly dangerous. Roethlisberger made no passes beyond five yards in the air, and most of the Steelers’ passing yards fell to the ground. The Bengals got a few sacks of cover and, until the last practice, kept the rush to a minimum.
The Bengals’ offense was the same as usual; don’t do anything too funky until the last drive of half-time. The conservative nature of the offense may have contributed to the fatigue of the defense towards the end of the half.
On the first drive of the second half, Mixon had two 11-yard runs to start. Penalties delayed the Bengals, so the Bengals called on McPherson for a 43-yard field goal. McPherson kicked the leg he needed about twice, and the kick was good. The Bengals had unanswered points with a 17-7 lead and kept the Steelers’ offense on the sidelines for six minutes and 13 seconds.
In the next practice, the Steelers faced a 3-and-out, but Roethlisberger tossed it straight into Wilson’s arms. It was Roethlisberger and Wilson’s second pick of the game, and Wilson’s third in two weeks. The Bengals got the ball on the Steelers 19-yard line.
The Bengals had a first and a goal, and Burrow had enough protection to let Chase clear into the end zone. Burrow hit a Chase for the second touchdown of the receivers game and his fourth of the season. With that score, the Bengals scored touchdowns on the Steelers’ two interceptions. The extra point was good and the Bengals were leading 24-7 with 6:18 left in the third quarter.
Roethlisberger started throwing the ball further down the field and got the Steelers up to speed. He always threw it short for the most part, but managed a few passes about ten yards in the air for the first time in the entire game. A pass interference call on Eli Apple helped the Steelers descend into the red zone, where Boswell scored a 26-yard field goal. With 8:09 to go, the Bengals were still leading 24-10.
The Steelers put in a few pushes to reduce the deficit, but appeared to have given up on their last practice. Harris made a misguided cut on the inside to keep the clock running and had two drops to keep the Steelers from moving the chains.
The Bengals improve to 2-1 after their third win of the season. It was Taylor’s first win in Pittsburgh and the Bengals’ first straight win over the Steelers since 2013.
After the win, the Bengals are tied with the Browns for first place in the AFC North, while the Steelers 1-2 fall last.