Steelers extend their dominance in Cincinnati

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  • Ben Roethlisberger
    Ben Roethlisberger

CINCINNATI -- The Pittsburgh Steelers rallied from a 14-3 second-quarter deficit and won for the 11th time in 13 games at Paul Brown Stadium, beating the Cincinnati Bengals 24-17 Sunday night.

Ben Roethlisberger completed 27 of 37 passes for 278 yards and one touchdown, and the Steelers' defense shut down the Bengals' offense over the final 2 1/2 quarters.

Pittsburgh evened its record at 3-3, while Cincinnati lost its third straight game to fall to 3-4.

"Guys did what was necessary," Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin said. "Hopefully we can build upon it; it was what we talked about in (the locker room). We got ourselves into a hole. The first thing we have to do is stop digging. We did that tonight; now we've got to build on it."

Cincinnati went 80 yards on 15 plays on its opening possession of the game, capped by a 5-yard touchdown run by Cedric Peerman, but managed just 105 yards the rest of the game.

Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton finished 14-for-28 for 105 yards, one touchdown and one interception as he fell to 0-6 in his career against Pittsburgh and the Baltimore Ravens.

The Steelers held Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green to just one catch for 8 yards. The catch was a good for a touchdown, but after Green came into the game with 43 receptions for 628 yards, he was no factor.

Pittsburgh cornerback Ike Taylor had the main responsibility of covering Green.

"They did a great job taking me away from the game plan," Green said. "That's what it is. They have a great team to beat, and that's what great coaches do, take me away."

Jonathan Dwyer, a third-teamer on the Steelers' depth chart, rushed for 122 yards on 17 carries. Dwyer had gained 70 yards on 24 carries coming into the game.

The Steelers took a 24-17 lead on the second play of the fourth quarter. Chris Rainey's 11-yard touchdown run put Pittsburgh in front for the first time since the opening possession of the game. It was his first career touchdown.

"It feels good, but I know how to win, and I know what it feels like to win," said Rainey, a rookie fifth-round pick from the University of Florida. "We just stayed focused and kept our heads up. This is a good team with no panic."

Pittsburgh looked in disarray for the first 23 minutes of the game. The Steelers dropped three passes -- including two potential touchdowns -- and one interception, turned the ball over on consecutive possessions and committed four penalties before settling down.

The teams were tied 14-14 at halftime and traded field goals on their first possessions of the third quarter.

Shaun Suisham made a 42-yard field goal on the opening possession of the game to give Pittsburgh a 3-0 lead with 10:36 left in the first quarter.

Cincinnati then charged to a 14-3 lead. After Peerman scored late in the first quarter, Green made his touchdown grab in the middle of the second quarter.

Pittsburgh rallied to tie the score before halftime.

Suisham connected on a 47-yard field goal, cutting the lead to 14-6 with 3:11 to play in the second quarter.

LaMarr Woodley intercepted a Dalton pass to give the Steelers the ball back with 1:23 to go in the quarter. Roethlisberger capped a 29-yard drive with a 9-yard touchdown pass to tight end Heath Miller. The same pair hooked up on a two-point conversion pass with 24 seconds left in the half.

Cincinnati's BenJarvus Green-Ellis ran 18 times for 69 yards. Ryan Whalen had a team-high four catches for the Bengals, gaining 31 yards.

Steelers receiver Mike Wallace caught a game-high eight passes for 52 yards, while teammate Antonio Brown had a game-high 96 receiving yards on seven catches. Wallace also had four drops, but that didn't dissuade Roethlisberger from looking his way.

"I don't shy away from them even with drops," Roethlisberger said. "I will always have confidence in them no matter what. These guys all hold themselves to a really high standard, and it just shows how valuable these guys are to our attack."

A loss by Baltimore (5-2) earlier in the day gave both teams an opportunity to make up a game against the AFC North-leading Ravens, and Pittsburgh took advantage. The Steelers return home next week to play host to the Washington Redskins (3-4). The Bengals have a bye before resuming action Nov. 4 at home against the Denver Broncos (3-3).

NOTES: The Steelers were without four starters because of injury. Safety Troy Polamalu, center Maurkice Pouncey, right tackle Marcus Gilbert and running back Rashard Mendenhall were inactive. It was the fourth time in the past five games that Polamalu has been inactive. ... Roethlisberger is now 34-9 in his career against the AFC North and 14-4 against Cincinnati... Bengals safety Chris Crocker's interception was his second of the season and just the third for the Cincinnati defense. ... Green has now caught a touchdown pass in six consecutive games. ... The Bengals lost center Jeff Faine to a hamstring injury late in the first half. He was replaced by rookie Trevor Robinson. ... Bengals coach Marvin Lewis went 0-for-2 on replay challenges, both in the second half.