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Steelers down Bengals 24-17

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Ben Roethlisberger threw for 245 yards and Rashard Mendenhall scored two touchdowns as the Steelers knocked off the Bengals in Cincinnati 24-17.

When it came down to crunch time for Andy Dalton, the Steelers’ defense was just too much for the talented rookie quarterback. Interceptions by Lawrence Timmons and William Gay in the fourth quarter put a stop to the Bengals five-game winning streak as the Steelers defeated Cincinnati, 24-17.

Pittsburgh struck early and often in the first half. Scoring on their first drive of the game, Ben Roethlisberger connected with a wide open Jericho Cotchery to put the Steelers up 7-0.

Shortly after forcing another Bengals punt, Roethlisberger marched the Steelers down-field, setting up a four-yard touchdown run by Rashard Mendenhall, extending the lead to 14-0.

The Bengals’ rookie connection struck next. Quarterback Andy Dalton threw a 36-yard touchdown pass to fellow rookie A.J. Green to cut the Steelers’ lead in half, 14-7. The 6’5” Green leaped over Troy Polamalu and Ryan Clark to bring in the pass.

Heath Miller made a rare mistake on the Steelers’ next drive. Roethlisberger rolled out of the pocket and tried to dump the ball off to Miller, but he bobbled the ball off his shoulder pads, and it was intercepted by Leon Hall. The Steelers defense held strong, and the Bengals only managed a field goal to cut the lead to four, 14-10.

The Steelers added a 39-yard field goal off the foot of Shaun Suisham to make the score 17-10 going into the half.

The Bengals scored first in the second half off of a one-yard touchdown pass from Dalton to tight end Jermaine Gresham to tie the game at 17. Lawrence Timmons bolted through the offensive line, almost sacking Dalton, but he released the pass just before Timmons tackled him.

The tie didn’t last long as the Steelers went on a 14-play, 81-yard, eventual game-winning, drive that ended with a nine yard run by Mendenhall to put the Steelers back up, 24-17, before the end of the third quarter.

Less than three minutes into the fourth quarter, Timmons intercepted a pass intended for wide receiver Andre Caldwell. The Steelers were forced to punt after a three-and-out by the offense.

The game went back and forth with punts until the Bengals last drive in the fourth. William Gay intercepted a Dalton pass with two minutes and thirty seconds left in the fourth quarter. After two first downs by Wesley Saunders and Mike Wallace, the Steelers ran out the clock for the victory.

Through the Air:
Big Ben completed 21 of his 33 passes for 245 yards, including one touchdown and one interception. Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown played strong roles in the Steelers’ passing game. Wallace had six catches for 54 yards but notched a number of key first downs for the Steelers offense. Brown had five receptions for 86 yards. Jericho Cotchery had the lone receiving touchdown for the Steelers, a 16-yard pass from Roethlisberger. He finished with two receptions for 29 yards on the day.

On the Ground:
The Steelers struggled running the football for yardage, but Rashard Mendenhall had two touchdowns on the day. He carried 16 times for 44 yards. Isaac Redman had seven carries for 25 yards.

The Steelers only gave up 279 yards and recorded two interceptions in the fourth quarter by Lawrence Timmons and William Gay. The Steelers’ defense was held without a sack on Andy Dalton for the entire game.

Special Teams:
Shaun Suisham connected on his only field goal of the day from 39 yards out. Antonio Brown returned three kick-offs on the day for 69 yards, the longest a 26-yard return.

Game Ball:
The game ball goes to the entire Steelers defense. They held the Bengals without a score in the fourth quarter as William Gay and Lawrence Timmons notched two key interceptions, keeping the Bengals offense off the field.

Next Up:
The Steelers have their bye-week next week, but they return to action on Nov. 27 against the Kansas City Chiefs in Kansas City.

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