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Bengals display new ability to ground out victories

The SportsXchange

CINCINNATI -- On a night when it appeared early on as if the Cincinnati Bengals were going to abandon their running game, they used it in the second half to take control and beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 20-10 on Thursday.

After running only 10 times in 42 offensive plays in the first half, the Bengals went to the ground on 23 of 36 second-half snaps.

Giovani Bernard scored both Bengals touchdowns and had 65 yards on nine offensive touches, including 26-yards on a checkdown from Andy Dalton.

It was the first reception of 20 yards or more by a Bengals running back since Brian Leonard had a 37-yard catch in Week 11 of 2011 against Baltimore. The Bengals were the only team in the league last year to not have a running back with a plus-20 reception.

"We drafted him to be a guy that's versatile; a guy that we can move around and catch the ball out of the backfield and make big plays. That's exactly what we've got out of him," said Dalton, who was 25 of 45 for 280 yards and a touchdown. "It's exciting to see him come out and play big in a game like this. He did a really good job."

BenJarvus Green-Ellis rebounded from the Chicago game and had 75 yards on 22 carries. In the fourth quarter, when the Bengals were grounding it out, Green-Ellis had 13 carries for 35 yards.

The 127 rushing yards by the Bengals is the second most they've had against the Steelers in Lewis' 11 seasons as head coach.

"Benny did a great job. Those last four or five minutes of the game were probably the biggest moments of the entire game," said Bernard, who had 8 carries for 38 yards. "Those were critical we picked up those first downs and kept the clock running. Moments like that you have to take advantage of."

--RB Bernard Scott has been released. He was on the PUP list due to a knee injury he suffered last year in a Week 5 loss to Miami.

--DE Robert Geathers suffered an elbow injury during the first half. His status for Sunday's game against Green Bay is questionable.

--LB J.K. Schaffer was signed from the practice squad and saw action on special teams against Pittsburgh.

--S Jeromy Miles was waived. The fourth-year player was doubtful coming into the game due to a hamstring injury suffered in the opener at Chicago.
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