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

night.

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

quarter.

The Steelers, who need to win to avoid its first losing season

since 2003, had been outscored 77-43 in the first quarter coming

in.

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

duties.

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