Tha Sports Junkies 101

Steelers Win Ugly Game Against Division-Rival Bengals

Ugly steelers bengals Ryan Dingman via flickr


Pittsburgh Steelers battle rain, mud, and Bengals to get ugly 24-16 victory.

With heavy rain coming down at kickoff, the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals both knew they were going to be battling each other as well as field conditions the entire game. The stage was set for an ugly matchup between two teams that have a “professional hatred” for each other.

Both teams came out sluggish, trading punts on each of their first drives. The Steelers finally started moving the ball as Ben Roethlisberger got the ball to Antonio Brown for 16 yards on a 3rd and 6, which would turn out to be his biggest play of the day. A few plays later, the Steelers went for it on fourth down and Roethlisberger threw his first interception of the day to Pacman Jones.

But the Steelers defense would come up big, as they did many times in the game, and forced a three-and-out following the interception. The offense followed along and finally put a full drive together. The Steelers went 66 yards on 5 plays, finishing it off with a touchdown pass to undrafted tight end Xavier Gamble, which happened to be his first reception in his NFL career.

The Steelers and Bengals would trade 7 more punts in the second quarter, as well as trading field goals. With Roethlisberger throwing one more interception before the half, ugly would be a nice way to describe the first half for both offenses. With both defenses refusing to give an inch, the Steelers took a 10-6 lead into halftime.

The Steelers offense continued to stay at a stand still, until halfway through the 3rd quarter when Roethlisberger found Sammie Coates for a 53 yard connection that put them on the Cincinnati 9 yard line. On the next play, Roethlisberger threw a touchdown to tight end Jesse James to extend the lead.

The Steelers offense would put together one more touchdown drive to give them a lead that would end up being enough for the victory. A 12 play, 68 yard drive, ended with another Roethlisberger touchdown pass to a wide open Deangelo Williams.

On a day where the offense seemed to not be it’s usual high scoring self that Todd Haley would like to see, Keith Butler‘s defense played outstanding. Giving up only 3 field goals for the first 56 minutes of the game, and not allowing a touchdown until they already had a 24-9 lead. Although they did not get any interceptions, they did force 9 punts and a fumble on the final drive of the game for the Bengals that sealed the victory.

In the ultimate “bend but don’t break” performance for the Steelers defense, they did give up 412 yards, but held the Bengals to 4/16 on third downs. They allowed the Bengals to get into the redzone three times, holding them to a field goal everytime. In a game where it was tough to throw the ball, the defense held the Bengals to 46 yards rushing.

Cornerback Ross Cockrell had the toughest assignment of the game, and was the player of the game. Guarding AJ Green, he only allowed him to haul in two receptions for 38 yards. Artie Burns had a good game as well as he got some playing time in the Dime packages. His biggest play came right before the end of the first half when he broke up what would have been a touchdown, and forced a fourth down field goal.

The Steelers didn’t get the 30 points that they aim for every week, but they were good enough to get the victory. The defense stepped up and made plays when needed, and showed improvements in the secondary. The Steelers were able to get out of this game alive and will be on the road next week as they face the Philadelphia Eagles for an intrastate matchup.

Key stats and notes from Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cincinnati Bengals

  • Ben Roethlisberger passed Vinny Testaverde for 12th all time in passing touchdowns with 278
  • Ben Roethlisberger leads the NFL in touchdowns through two games with 6
  • Deangelo Williams got a career high in carries in a game with 32
  • Deangelo Williams leads the NFL in rushing yards through two games with 237
  • Punter Jordan Berry landed 5 punts inside the Bengals 20 yard line
  • Antonio Brown passed John Stallworth for 3rd on the Steelers all-time receptions list with 538
  • Antonio Brown was held to less than 50 yards receiving when Roethlisberger is quarterback for the first time since the final game of the 2012 season