Steelers lead Bengals 30-14 in fourth quarter
Antonio Brown caught a touchdown pass and returned a punt for a
score in a 64-second span and the Pittsburgh Steelers led the
Cincinnati Bengals 30-14 early in the fourth quarter Sunday
Shaun Suisham added three field goals for the Steelers, who
hardly looked like a team playing out the string despite being in
danger of their first losing season in a decade.
The Bengals, looking to move closer to a third straight playoff
berth, were undone by a series of special teams miscues.
Le’Veon Bell scored two plays after Cincinnati punter Kevin
Huber dropped a snap while standing near the goal line after the
Bengals’ first possession. Pittsburgh’s Will Allen dropped Huber at
the 1 and Bell bulled into the end zone on second down for his
sixth touchdown of the season.
Cincinnati’s issues continued on the ensuing kickoff. Officials
ruled Cedric Peerman called for a fair catch at the Cincinnati 9,
wiping out a lengthy return. The Bengals eventually punted, setting
up the Steelers with a short field. Pittsburgh went 47 yards in
eight plays, with Ben Roethlisberger buying enough time for Brown
to get open for a 12-yard touchdown strike to make it 14-0.
Brown’s early work wasn’t done. Cincinnati punted yet again and
Brown took it 67 yards right up the middle, breaking a tackle at
midfield on his way to the second punt return for a score in his
four-year career for Pittsburgh’s third touchdown of the
The Steelers, who need to win to avoid its first losing season
since 2003, had been outscored 77-43 in the first quarter coming
Huber took a hard hit from Pittsburgh’s Terence Garvin during
the return. He was down on the field for several minutes before
walking straight to the Cincinnati locker room with a fractured
jaw. Cincinnati kicker Mike Nugent took over Huber’s punting
Bengals linebacker James Harrison, making his first appearance
in Pittsburgh since signing with the Bengals in the offseason, left
in the first quarter because of a concussion.
Pittsburgh extended its lead to 24-0 before the Bengals steadied
themselves with a 47-yard touchdown drive capped by a Giovani
Bernard 1-yard run to get to 24-7. The Steelers responded late in
the half with a 45-yard field goal by Suisham to give them their
biggest halftime lead of the season.
Suisham’s third field goal pushed Pittsburgh’s advantage to 30-7
before the Bengals responded with a 1-yard touchdown pass from Andy
Dalton to Tyler Eifert to bring Cincinnati within two scores and a
pair of two-point conversions.
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org