What Went Right, What Went Wrong

What went right, wrong at Bengals

COIN TOSS: Steelers call tails. It's tails. Steelers win the toss and elect to defer. The Bengals get the football first.

1:12 p.m. – What Went Wrong: The Bengals took the opening kickoff and drove 75 yards in 10 plays to take a 7-0 lead on an 8-yard scramble by Joe Burrow with 9:29 remaining in the first quarter. Joe Mixon touched the ball on eight of the drive's 10 plays, and he rushed for 49 yards on seven carries and caught one pass for 5 more yards. The Bengals opened with a two-tight-end formation and that paved the way for Mixon's success.

1:19 p.m. – What Went Wrong: On the Steelers third offensive play of the game, Ben Roethlisberger attempted a back-shoulder throw to Chase Claypool, who had turned up the field, and the pass was intercepted by Eli Apple, who returned it 50 yards to the Steelers 5-yard line. But the Steelers defense bailed out the offense by keeping the Bengals out of the end zone, with an 11-yard sack by Chris Wormley on third-and-goal from the 1-yard line being the big play. Evan McPherson's 31-yard field goal made it 10-0 with 6:01 left in the first quarter.

1:30 p.m. – What Went Right: A 40-yard field goal by Chris Boswell cut the Bengals lead to 10-3 with 2:17 left in the fourth quarter following an eight-play 53-yard drive. After the Bengals kickoff went for a touchback, Ben Roethlisberger hooked up with Chase Claypool for a 41-yard gain down the right sideline. Roethlisberger later converted a third-and-9 with an 11-yard pass to Diontae Johnson, but after that, three straight incomplete passes brought Boswell onto the field.

1:40 p.m. – What Went Wrong: Two plays into the second quarter, Joe Burrow capped a six-play, 75-yard drive with a 32-yard pass to Tee Higgins, who went high to make the catch in the end zone over James Pierre for the touchdown that upped the Bengals lead to 17-3 with 14:15 left in the second quarter. Burrow was 5-for-5 on the drive for 69 yards and the touchdown.

2:04 p.m. – What Went Wrong: The Bengals took a 24-3 lead with 2:43 remaining in the second quarter following a 14-play, 84-yard drive that ended with a 1-yard run by Joe Mixon. At that point in the game, Mixon had 19 carries for 109 yards and the 1-yard touchdown, and the Bengals had rushed for 117 yards on 20 attempts (5.3 average) and two touchdowns. The Bengals had scored on each of their four offensive possessions in the game.

Game action photos from the Steelers' Week 12 game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium

2:23 p.m. – What Went Wrong: When Minkah Fitzpatrick intercepted a Joe Burrow pass at the Steelers 5-yard line with 37 seconds left in the first half, it appeared as though Pittsburgh had escaped another Cincinnati score before the end of the first half. But then on the first play from the Steelers 21-yard line, a Ben Roethlisberger pass intended for James Washington in the left flat was intercepted by Mike Hilton and returned 24 yards for the touchdown that gave the Bengals a 31-3 lead at halftime.

HALFTIME: Bengals 31, Steelers 3

2:45 p.m. – What Went Wrong: The Steelers received the second half kickoff, and there wasn't anything appreciably different from the first half in terms of the performance of the Pittsburgh offense or the Cincinnati defense. The Steelers converted a third-and-7 when Diontae Johnson made a one-handed catch of a Ben Roethlisberger pass. But on the next third down, Sam Hubbard sacked Roethlisberger for a 4-yard loss to force a punt.

2:58 p.m. – What Went Wrong: The Bengals finally had to punt for the first time in the game with 8:42 remaining in the third quarter, but the Steelers then turned the ball over to Cincinnati five plays into the ensuing possession. The Steelers netted one first down on a 10-yard completion to Diontae Johnson and then another on a 12-yard catch-and-run by Najee Harris. On the play following Harris' catch, Trey Hendrickson got away from Dan Moore Jr. and executed a sack/strip on Ben Roethlisberger, and the ball was recovered by Sam Hubbard at the Steelers 45-yard line.

3:10 p.m. – What Went Wrong: The Bengals capitalized on the takeaway with a 51-yard field goal by Evan McPherson that upped their lead to 34-3 with 2:35 left in the third quarter. The Bengals faced a third-and-17 on the possession, but they climbed out of that hole with a 16-yard completion to Ja'Marr Chase and then a 2-yard run by Joe Mixon for the first down.

THIRD QUARTER: Bengals 34, Steelers 3

3:25 p.m. – What Went Wrong: Following a 38-yard punt by Pressley Harvin III late in the third quarter, the Bengals added to their lead with a five-play, 65-yard drive that ended with Joe Mixon's second touchdown on the day – a 1-yard run – that extended their lead to 41-3 with 13:10 left in the fourth quarter. Mixon opened the drive with a 32-yard run, and then after his touchdown, he had rushed for 165 yards on 28 carries with two touchdowns.

3:49 p.m. – What Went Right: The Steelers put together a nine-play, 69-yard drive that was capped by a 15-yard pass from Ben Roethlisberger to Pat Freiermuth to make it 34-10, with 2:59 remaining in the fourth quarter. On the drive, Roethlisberger completed 6-of-7 for 67 yards and the touchdown to Freiermuth, who leads the team with six touchdown catches.

FINAL SCORE: Bengals 41, Steelers 10