What went right, wrong at Cincinnati

* The Bengals tried a fake punt at the end of their opening possession, and it failed. The snap went to up-back Cedric Peerman, who ended up fumbling the ball forward before he got past the first-down marker. When Nico Johnson recovered for the Bengals, by rule, the ball goes back to the spot of the fumble. As a result, the Steelers took over at their own 40-yard line with 9:32 left in the first quarter.

  • The Steelers took the early lead off a nine-play, 75-yard drive that ended with a 1-yard touchdown pass to Heath Miller. Other key plays on the drive were a 16-yard pass to Markus Wheaton that converted a third-and-6, a 29-yard pass to Lance Moore, and a 7-yard pass to Le'Veon Bell that converted a third-and-3 and put the ball at the Bengals 1-yard line.
  • During the Bengals opening possession of the third quarter, as they faced a third-and-8, they had to burn a timeout, and then after the timeout Jermaine Gresham was flagged for a false start. When Andy Dalton's pass on third-and-13 fell incomplete, the Bengals had to punt.
  • After a 10-yard pass to Martavis Bryant converted a third down and moved the ball to the Pittsburgh 40-yard line, RT Mike Adams was flagged for holding to put the Steelers into a hole with a first-and-20. But Ben Roethlisberger converted the ensuing third-and-8 with a 12-yard completion to Antonio Brown.
  • Later in the same possession, the Steelers were faced with the third third-down situation – a third-and-6 from the Bengals' 10-yard line – and Ben Roethlisberger converted this one as well, and the touchdown pass to Le'Veon Bell gave the Steelers a 17-14 lead with 5:24 remaining in the third period.
  • On the series following the one that ended with Bell's touchdown, the Bengals faced a third-and-3 from their own 27-yard line. Andy Dalton completed a pass in the flat to RB Giovani Bernard, but Lawrence Timmons came across quickly to make the tackle for no gain and force a punt.
  • A 53-yard run by Le'Veon Bell put him over 100 for the day and was the big play in a drive that ended with a 44-yard field goal from Shaun Suisham that cut the Bengals' lead to 21-20 with 13:32 remaining in the fourth quarter.
  • On the first play on the ensuing Cincinnati possession, the Bengals again attempted a read-option running play. Andy Dalton fumbled the ball, and Arthur Moats recovered at the Bengals 24-yard line.
  • The Steelers converted the takeaway four plays later on a 13-yard run by Le'Veon Bell, but that never happens if Ben Roethlisberger didn't convert a third-and-7 with an 8-yard pass to Antonio Brown. And then with the score at 26-21 following Bell's touchdown, the Steelers went for a two-point conversion which was successful on a Roethlisberger pass to Heath Miller.
  • On the next possession with the Bengals facing a third-and-9, Andy Dalton went deep down the right sideline to A.J. Green, who was being covered by Antwon Blake. As the ball came down, Blake and Green battled for it, and it popped into the air. Just as it seemed as though Green was going to come down with the ball, Mike Mitchell came over and broke it up.
  • That forced a Bengals punt, and Kevin Huber knocked it out of bounds at the Steelers 6-yard line. On the next play, the Steelers sent Martavis Bryant in motion to the far right of the formation. At the snap, Bryant took off straight down the sideline, raced past CB Leon Hall and caught a perfectly thrown pass from Ben Roethlisberger for a 96-yard touchdown that gave the Steelers a 35-21 lead.

* In the battles between the respective punt teams, the Bengals got the better of it early. Brad Wing's first punt traveled only 37 yards, and then Adam Jones returned it for 16 to give Cincinnati a starting field position of their own 42-yard line for their first possession.

The Pittsburgh Steelers traveled to Paul Brown Stadium for a division matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 14.

  • It didn't take the Bengals long to tie the game at 7-7 after the Steelers initially took a lead. The big play on the drive was a 56-yard completion from Andy Dalton to A.J. Green in which the Bengals receiver split Steelers safeties Troy Polamalu and Mike Mitchell. Two plays later, the Steelers problems with the tight end continued with the 10-yard pass to Jermaine Gresham for the tying touchdown.
  • William Gay made a very nice play to intercept a deep pass intended for Brandon Tate. Gay intercepted the ball inside the Pittsburgh 10-yard line, but the play was nullified by a hands-to-the-face penalty on Jason Worilds. Then a personal foul call on Bengals TE Jermaine Gresham created an offsetting penalty situation and returned the ball to the original line of scrimmage.
  • The Bengals made the Steelers pay for the penalty that nullified the takeaway. Seven plays after the nullified interception, the Bengals took a 14-7 lead on a 20-yard run by Andy Dalton on a read-option keeper that fooled both Jason Worilds and Troy Polamalu.
  • A bad sequence for the Steelers after their offense moved to a first-and-goal at the Cincinnati 4-yard line with 30 seconds left and no timeouts. Three straight times Ben Roethlisberger attempted passes into the end zone, and none of the three were close to being completed. The Steelers settled for a 22-yard field goal to cut the Bengals' lead to 10-7 with 11 seconds left in the first half.
  • On the final play of the third quarter, the Steelers defense again was victimized by a long pass completion for a touchdown. Last week against New Orleans, it was a 69-yard play to Kenny Stills. This time, it was an 81-catch-and-run by A.J. Green. Ike Taylor was in coverage on Green, and after Green caught the ball he cut inside Mike Mitchell to complete the play that gave the Bengals a 21-17 lead.
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