What Went Right, What Went Wrong

What went right, wrong at Cincinnati

The highs and lows of the Steelers matchup at the Cincinnati Bengals.

COIN TOSS: Steelers call tails. It's tails. Steelers will receive.

1:10 p.m. – What Went Wrong: The Steelers' opening possession didn't yield any points, because after moving into Cincinnati territory the drive stalled after consecutive incomplete passes by Ben Roethlisberger. Jordan Berry's punt was fair caught at the 12-yard line but a holding penalty on Kameron Canaday allowed the Bengals to start at the 22-yard line.

1:15 p.m. – What Went Wrong: The Steelers defense quickly forced a Bengals punt with a three-and-out, but special teams again forfeited some field position when Ryan Switzer failed to field Kevin Huber's punt, which ended up bouncing its way into a 62-yard kick that put the Steelers on their own 16-yard line.

1:20 p.m. – What Went Wrong: When the Steelers offense went three-and-out on its second possession, Jordan Berry's punt traveled only 36 yards before bouncing out of bounds. The Bengals benefitted from this exchange of punts by gaining 24 yards in field position for the start of their second possession – at their own 46-yard line.

1:31 p.m. – What Went Wrong: The Bengals took advantage of their good field position and put together a 54-yard touchdown drive capped by a 2-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Boyd on a third-and-goal play. A key play on the drive came on an Andy Dalton pass attempt to A.J. Green, where Joe Haden dropped what seemed to be a certain interception. The drive consumed 4:24 of game time and lasted 11 plays. The Bengals led, 7-0, with 4:36 remaining in the first period.

1:46 p.m. – What Went Right: The Steelers answered Cincinnati's touchdown with a 10-play, 75-yard drive that ended with a 1-yard run by James Conner for the touchdown that tied the game, 7-7, with 14:33 left in the second quarter. Conner carried five times for 42 yards on the drive, including a 26-yard burst thanks to a block by a pulling Maurkice Pouncey. Ben Roethlisberger also completed a 21-yard pass to JuJu Smith-Schuster to convert a second-and-21.

1:53 p.m. – What Went Right: The Steelers defense got off the field thanks to a pass breakup by Mike Hilton on a ball intended for Tyler Boyd. Following a 33-yard punt, the Steelers offense took over on its 10-yard line with 10:15 left in the second period.

2:02 p.m. – What Went Right: Jordan Berry got off a 65-yard punt that was aided by a penalty on the Bengals to have the Bengals starting at their own 9-yard line with just more than eight minutes left in the first half.

2:22 p.m. – What Went Right: The Steelers took their first lead of the afternoon with an eight-play 75-yard drive that ended with a second 1-yard touchdown run by James Conner with 1:07 remaining in the first half. Two big plays on the drive were a 26-yard catch-and-run by Vance McDonald during which he ran over Vontaze Burfict, and a 29-yard catch by JuJu Smith-Schuster in which he wrestled the ball from Darqueze Dennard to set up Conner's touchdown.

2:28 p.m. – What Went Wrong: A 47-yard kickoff return that followed Conner's second touchdown put the Bengals offense in good field position, and in 48 seconds of game time the game was tied following a 14-yard touchdown pass from Andy Dalton to Tyler Boyd with 19 seconds remaining in the second quarter. The half ended in a 14-14 tie.

2:48 p.m. – What Went Right: The second half began the way the first half ended – with a long kickoff return by Alex Erickson. This one covered 51 yards and set up the Bengals at their own 49-yard line. The Bengals faced a third-and-6 and Andy Dalton threw incomplete, but they got a second chance when T.J. Watt was flagged for offside. On third-and-1, Watt redeemed himself by stuffing Joe Mixon, and the Bengals punted.

3:01 p.m. – What Went Wrong: The drive ended with a field goal by Chris Boswell that gave the Steelers a 17-14 lead, but since it also included a first-and-goal at the 1-yard line it didn't end the way it should have from the Steelers' perspective. James Conner ripped off runs of 11 yards and 25 yards , but on first down at the 1-yard line he was stuffed for no gain, and then on third down from the 1-yard line, DE Sam Hubbard came off the edge to drop Conner for a 2-yard loss. The Steelers led, 17-14, with 6:53 left in the third quarter.

3:07 p.m. – What Went Right: The Steelers defense answered Boswell's field goal with a three-and-out. After Rosie Nix blasted Alex Erickson on the kickoff return, the Steelers defense got big plays from Stephon Tuitt, who dumped Joe Mixon for a 2-yard loss on second-and-8, and then Cam Sutton broke up a pass intended for TE C.J. Uzomah. After Kevin Huber's punt, the Steelers started at their own 24-yard line with 5:17 remaining in the third quarter.

3:18 p.m. – What Went Wrong: For the second time in the game, the Steelers gave up field position because of a holding penalty on Kameron Canaday during a Jordan Berry punt. Instead of starting at their own 10-yard line, the penalty allowed the Bengals to start on their own 20-yard line. The third quarter then ended with the Steelers holding a 17-14 lead.

3:28 p.m. – What Went Right: The Steelers defense gave up some yards but no points on a Bengals possession early in the fourth quarter. The key plays were a 7-yard sack by Stephon Tuitt on a second down, and then Joe Haden broke up a pass for A.J. Green to force a punt that Ryan Switzer fielded on the Pittsburgh 12-yard line with 9:20 remaining in the fourth quarter.

3:39 p.m. – What Went Wrong: A 24-yard field goal by Boswell with 3:32 remaining upped the Steelers lead to 20-14, but it felt like a missed opportunity. After a drive-opening 11-yard run by James Conner, and then a 9-yard pass to Jesse James that converted a third-and-4, the big play on the drive was a 49-yard catch-and-run by Antonio Brown that put the ball at the Bengals 14-yard line. On a third-and-2, a pass to Vance McDonald gained nothing, and Boswell came on for the field goal.

3:53 p.m. -- What Went Wrong: That red zone field goal that upped the Steelers lead to 20-14 was the beginning of a disastrous end for the Steelers. Cincinnati put together a 75-yard touchdown drive that included a third-down conversion on a 5-yard pass to C.J. Uzomah, and then a 14-yard pass interference penalty on Artie Burns and a 16-yard completion to Tyler Boyd put the ball at the Steelers 34-yard line at the two-minute warning. A 23-yard completion to A.G. Green, and then a 7-yard completion to Green set up Joe Mixon's 4-yard touchdown run. The Bengals took a 21-20 lead with 1:18 remaining.

4:06 p.m. – What Went Right: A 10-yard pass to JuJu Smith-Schuster converted one third down, and then a 19-yard completion to Smith-Schuster gave the Steelers a first down at the Bengals 31-yard line. On the next play, Ben Roethlisberger completed a quick slant to Antonio Brown, who split the Bengals secondary and raced into the end zone for the touchdown with 10 seconds left. The two-point conversion was successful and the Steelers led, 28-21.

FINAL SCORE: Steelers 28, Bengals 21

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