It’s been said that ‘Nothing is certain but death and taxes’-and oh yeah, the Pittsburgh Steelers finding ways to beat the Cincinnati Bengals in Cincinnati. It can’t be explained why the Steelers own the Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium. Ever since their 2005 Wild Card loss, the Bengals always find ways to blow it against their AFC North Division Rivals. Good Bengals teams, bad Bengals teams, whatever. The outcome is still the same, and this time it was a 28-21 thriller that saw the Steelers literally snatch victory from the Jaws of defeat.
WR Antonio Brown’s 31-yard TD pass from Ben Roethlisberger with 10 seconds left provided the drama this time, right after the Bengals took a 21-20 lead on a 4-yard TD by RB Joe Mixon. It just seems like no matter what the Bengals do, the Steelers can do better. Pittsburgh has won each of the previous six regular-season games in the series against Cincinnati, dating back to Dec. 13, 2015, and each of the last five on the road, dating back to Dec. 7, 2014.
“Man, that’s big-time AFC North football. Man, we’re humbled to be a part of this series.” Said Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin who is now is now 18-5 as Pittsburgh’s head coach in regular-season games vs. Cincinnati (10-2 on the road). “We respect it. It’s good for the game of football, and you just saw why it’s good for the game of football. There’re two teams competing their tails off for 60 minutes and fighting for a lot of things. We kept it real simple today, though, for the victory. We were able to get that done through a lot of effort from all three phases. We made some plays, we missed some plays — that’s life. It’s good to learn while you win.”
If there’s one thing the Steelers will do after this game is learn while the won, especially on defense where they almost blew a 20-14 lead which should’ve been 28-14, but the Steelers were unable to score on 2 Red Zone opportunities and had to settle for 2 Chris Boswell field goals in the second half. And of course, there was the defense which almost gave up the winning TD thanks to Mixon. But almost only counts in horseshoes as the Steelers win again and are now over .500 for the first time this season at 3-2-1.
RB James Conner was once again very impressive as he rushed for 111 yards and 2 TDs. Big Ben passed for 369 yards and a TD and in addition to his winning TD catch, Brown had 101 yards on 5 catches. Fellow WR JuJu Smith-Shuster had 111 yards on 7 catches. TE Vance McDonald also had 7 catches for 68 yards.
On defense, the Steelers sacked Bengals QB Andy Dalton 3 times. LB Vince Williams, DE Stephon Tuitt and DT Javon Hargrave each had 1 sack apiece. But the major concern with this unit is that they struggled on key Bengals drives that led to TDs. WR Tyler Boyd caught 2 of those Bengals TD passes and finished with 7 catches for 62 yards.
The Steelers overcame an early 7-0 lead and after taking a 17-14 lead, led the entire second half before the Bengals scored again. The Steelers will now head into the Bye week, preparing to come out of it ready for the rematch with the Browns on October 28th and hopefully with RB Le’Veon Bell, who’s been holding out all season due to a contract dispute.
“Hopefully we’re finding our rhythm.” Said Tomlin. “Hopefully that is a signature of our game moving forward, that we can learn and win. I’m appreciative of it today.”
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Pittsburgh 28, Cincinnati 21
Oct. 14, 2018
• Pittsburgh improved to 3-2-1 in 2018 and to 1-1-1 against AFC North division opponents.
• The Steelers are now 61-35 in regular-season series history against the Bengals (29-19 on the road) and 16-3 at Paul Brown Stadium.
• Pittsburgh has won each of the previous six regular-season games in the series against Cincinnati, dating back to Dec. 13, 2015, and each of the last five on the road, dating back to Dec. 7, 2014.
• Pittsburgh is now 22-9 in regular-season games against Cincinnati in the month of October (9-6 on the road).
• The Steelers have won each of the previous 11 games in the month of October against the Bengals.
• Pittsburgh has won each of its last four games in the month of October, dating back to Oct. 15, 2017, at Kansas City.
• The Steelers have won or tied each of their previous 12 road games against AFC teams, dating back to Nov. 20, 2016, at Cleveland.
• The Steelers are 460-287-3 during the regular season since 1970.
• Mike Tomlin and Ben Roethlisberger now have 109 regular-season wins together – breaking the most by a Steelers Head Coach-Quarterback in team history and for the third-most by a HC-QB tandem in NFL history (Bill Belichick-Tom Brady: 199, Don Shula-Dan Marino: 116, Sean Payton-Drew Brees: 109, Chuck Noll-Terry Bradshaw: 107).
• Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown have connected on 65 touchdowns as a QB-WR tandem, tying Jim Kelly-Andre Reed and Aaron Rodgers-Jordy Nelson for the eighth-most touchdown connections by a QB-WR tandem in NFL history.