Xtra Points

Steelers down Bengals, 27-3 on MNF

The Steelers got a much-needed win on Monday night, defeating the Cincinnati Bengals, 27-3.

The Steelers were in control from the beginning, with a swarming defense that got to Andy Dalton all night and an offense that moved the ball.

Chris Boswell closed out the scoring at 27-3 in the fourth quarter when he hit a 49-yard field goal.

The Wildcat formation the Steelers unveiled for the occasion paid dividends throughout, including on the first possession of the third quarter.

A direct snap to running back Jaylen Samuels turned into a pitch-pass to running back James Conner, who was coming across the back of the formation in motion. Conner bolted for 21 yards to the Cincinnati 2-yard line. From there, Samuels took another direct snap and waltzed into the end zone. Kicker Chris Boswell’s extra point upped the Steelers’ lead to 17-3 with 10:26 left in the third.

A 43-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Mason Rudolph to wide receiver Diontae Johnson made in 24-3 Steelers the next time they got their hands on the ball. Following an incompletion on first-and-10 from the Bengals’ 43, Rudolph found Johnson uncovered deep in the Cincinnati secondary for his second touchdown pass of the night and the Steelers’ fourth score in four possessions.

Through three quarters the Bengals had been held to 11 first downs and 130 total net yards on 44 offensive plays. Quarterback Andy Dalton was sacked six times in the first three quarters (defensive tackle Cam Heyward and outside linebacker T.J. Watt each had one-and-a-half sacks).

Inside linebacker Mark Barron intercepted a pass in the end zone on fourth-and-goal from the Steelers’ 13 with 11:02 left in the fourth. It was the Steelers’ second takeaway of the night (Watt recovered a Dalton fumble following a strip-sack by outside linebacker Bud Dupree on second-and-10 from the Steelers’ 18 in the second quarter).

Boswell capped an 11-play, 60-yard drive that reached the Cincinnati 7-yard line just before halftime with a 29-yard field goal that gave the Steelers a 10-3 lead 58 seconds before the break.

The drive stalled when Samuels was stopped for a loss of 4 on third-and-3 from the Bengals’ 7.

Boswell improved to 6-for-6 on field goals for the season and has hit at least one in all four games.

The Steelers went to the locker room at halftime having converted just one of four third-down attempts but still had a 16:36-13:24 edge in time of possession.

Good field position following a three-and-out from the defense positioned the Steelers for a five-play, 46-yard drive for a touchdown and a 7-3 lead with 10:32 left in the second.

After taking over at the Cincinnati 46 following a punt from the Bengals’ 5, Rudolph completed four passes on four attempts for 43 yards on the march, including a 21-yard catch-and-run touchdown to running back James Conner.

The Bengals turned an early turnover into the first points of the night.

Johnson hauled in a short pass from Rudolph on the Steelers’ second offensive snap but lost the ball after a hit by linebacker Nick Vigil. Bengals safety Jessie Bates III recovered at the Steelers’ 15.

Dalton threw into the end zone without success on first down and again on third down and the Bengals settled for kicker Randy Bullock’s 28-yard field goal and a 3-0 lead with 8:22 left in the first.

Game action photos from the Steelers' Week 4 game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Heinz Field

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