What went right, wrong vs. Bengals

* The Bengals won the coin toss to start the game, and they elected to defer their choice to the second half. That meant the Steelers got the ball first.

  • A holding penalty on Marcus Gilbert nullified a screen pass to Will Johnson that gained 17 yard to the Bengals 35-yard line, but then on the next play Reggie Nelson was called for pass interference on Antonio Brown, and the Steelers had their first down, albeit at the Cincinnati 40-yard line.
  • Ben Roethlisberger completed 5-of-6 passes on the opening 80-yard drive that ate up 7:14 of the first quarter and staked the Steelers to a 7-0 lead, and the scoring play was one that Roethlisberger can make but the other quarterbacks on the roster cannot. Antonio Brown ran a quick, shallow out-pattern to the sideline on a third-and-goal from the 1-yard line, and Roethlisberger's throw had the proper velocity and was on target.
  • On the Bengals' opening possession, they faced a third-and-5 from the Pittsburgh 26-yard line. Andy Dalton threw a pass to tight end Tyler Eifert in the left flat, and Eifert dropped the ball. The Bengals had to settle for a 44-yard field goal by Mike Nugent.
  • The next time Cincinnati got the ball, the Bengals faced a third-and-13 from the Pittsburgh 27-yard line. Bud Dupree sacked Andy Dalton after the rush flushed him from the pocket, and again the Bengals were left with a field goal attempt. Mike Nugent made the 45-yard attempt, and the first quarter ended with the Steelers holding a 7-6 lead.
  • After Reggie Nelson's interception return gave the Bengals a first down at the Pittsburgh 33-yard line, the Steelers defense put the Cincinnati offense on skates and drove them backward. A sack by Steve McLendon lost 9 yards. On the next play, McLendon flushed Andy Dalton out of the pocket, and the Bengals were flagged for an illegal crackback block on Cam Heyward that cost another 15 yards. After James Harrison batted down a Dalton pass, it set up a third-and-34. The Bengals punted one play later.
  • The Bengals were lined up to attempt a 37-yard field goal – with the Steelers holding a 10-6 lead – but Eric Winston was flagged for a false start, which moved it back 5 yards and made it a 42-yard attempt. Cam Heyward penetrated up the middle and got high in the air to block the field goal attempt. It was recovered by Lawrence Timmons.
  • With the Steelers mired at their own 13-yard line following the blocked field goal as the result of penalties on James Harrison for taunting after the block and then on Matt Spaeth for holding, DeAngelo Williams took a handoff from Ben Roethlisberger, bounced outside to the left and raced 55 yards to the Cincinnati 36-yard line.
  • Third-and-goal from the Pittsburgh 5-yard line with the Steelers holding a 10-6 lead with less than nine minutes remaining in the game looked like a dire situation. Andy Dalton tried a quick pass to the right sideline to Marvin Jones just across the the goal line. Antwon Blake attacked the throw and made the interception in front of Jones 2 yards deep into the end zone. He returned it 42 yards to the Steelers 40-yard line.
  • Another interception on the ensuing Bengals series gave the Steelers the ball back at their 24-yard line with a little more than six minutes remaining. After losing 15 yards on a fumble and throwing an incomplete pass on second down, Andy Dalton Tried to go deep down the left seam to A.J. Green. Ross Cockrell was there to contest the catch as the ball arrived, and the carom came down to Mike Mitchell for the interception. During the return, Robert Golden was flagged for a block in the back.
  • The Bengals did not convert a third down until there were less than five minutes remaining in the third quarter, and they finished 4-of-15 for 27 percent. The No. 3 scoring offense in the NFL was held to one touchdown by the Steelers. Tight end Tyler Eifert was held to four catches for 39 yards.

* Jordan Berry's first punt traveled 54 yards, but the play was nullified by offsetting penalties. The re-kick traveled only 43 yards, and then after Adam Jones returned in 19 yards, the Bengals' possession began at the Steelers 39-yard line instead of the Bengals 40-yard line.

The Pittsburgh Steelers hosted the Cincinnati Bengals at Heinz Field for an AFC North Divisional matchup in Week 8.

  • With 9:04 remaining in the second quarter, Ben Roethlisberger completed a pass to Le'Veon Bell along the sideline in front of the Steelers bench. On the tackle by Vontaze Burfict, Bell injured his right knee and was taken to the locker room on a cart.
  • The Steelers defense seemingly had gotten off the field when Lawrence Timmons knocked down a pass intended for Tyler Eifert, but the Bengals got a fresh set of downs when Mike Mitchell was flagged for taunting. Instead of having to punt from their own 30-yard line, the Bengals got a first down at the 45-yard line.
  • Dri Archer attempted to return two kickoffs in the first half – one went for 15 yards and the other for 19 yards – and on both of them Cedric Peerman, who came into the game leading the Bengals in special teams tackles, ran down the field totally unblocked to make the tackle.
  • Ben Roethlisberger tried to get the ball deep to Antonio Brown on a third-and-5 from the Steelers 22-yard line, but it seemed as though Brown never had a good idea of where the ball was because he made little effort as it arrived, where it was intercepted by Reggie Nelson and returned 37 yards to the Steelers 33-yard line.
  • It was a mistake, a bad mistake for for an inexperienced quarterback, let alone one with the pedigree of Ben Roethlisberger. On a first-and-10 from the 20-yard line following a touchback on the kickoff that came after the Bengals' touchdown with 3:01 remaining in the game that gave them a 13-10 lead, Roethlisberger was high to Antonio Brown over the middle and the pass was intercepted by Reggie Nelson. That led to another Cincinnati field goal and the final 16-10 margin.
  • Too many penalties for the Steelers – 10 for 91 yards. Too many turnovers for the Steelers – three interceptions by Ben Roethlisberger. Not enough third-down conversions – 3-for-11 in the game, and just one conversion after the opening possession. A 29.2-yard net punting average, and no punt return yards of their own. One-for-3 in the red zone.
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