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What Went Right, What Went Wrong

What went right, wrong vs Cincinnati

COIN TOSS: Bengals win the toss and elect to defer. The Steelers get the football first.

1:12 p.m. – What Went Right: The Steelers used their defense to land the first punch, and that defense only needed two plays to do just that. After a 44-yard punt with no return by Pressley Harvin III, the Bengals took over at their 22-yard line on what was the second possession of the game. After Cam Heyward sacked Joe Burrow for a 5-yard loss on first down, Minkah Fitzpatrick stepped in front of a Burrow pass intended for Tyler Bowl and returned it 31 yards for a touchdown. The Steelers led, 7-0, with 12:43 in the first quarter.

1:21 p.m. – What Went Right: It was a possession that ended with a field goal that sliced the Steelers lead to 7-3, but the defense again stood up and was accountable. The Bengals netted three first downs on the possession, and the third of those gave them a first down at the Steelers 334-yard line. But from there, Terrell Edmunds dumped Joe Mixon for no gain; T.J. Watt batted a pass down at the line of scrimmage; and Alex Highsmith sacked Burrow for a 7-yard loss that set up a 59-yard field goal. But McPherson drilled it, and it was 7-3 with 7:17 left in the first quarter.

1:37 p.m. – What Went Wrong: It could come to be viewed as a squandered opportunity, but thanks to another takeaway from their defense, a 20-yard Chris Boswell field goal gave the Steelers a 10-3 lead with 2:35 left in the first quarter. Cam Heyward came down with a sack/strip authored by Alex Highsmith that gave the Steelers the ball at the Bengals 34-yard line. The first play was a reverse pass, with Najee Harris flipping to Gunner Olszewski, who flipped it to Mitch Trubisky, who then hit Pat Freiermuth with a 31-yard pass to the Bengals 3-yard line. Harris gained 2 yards and then lost 1 on the next two plays, and then Trubisky threw incomplete for Freiermuth.

1:48 p.m. – What Went Right: The Bengals ran four plays to this point of the second quarter, and T.J. Watt ruined two of them. On a first-and-10 from the Steelers 35-yard line, Watt blew into the backfield and dumped Joe Mixon for a 4-yard loss. On the next play, Joe Burrow tried a quick throw over Watt to tight end Hayden Hurst, but Watt jumped up and caught the ball right around the line of scrimmage. The Steelers took over at their 41-yard line.

1:57 p.m. – What Went Right: The Steelers offense delivered with this takeaway, and it ended with a 1-yard Mitch Trubisky pass to Najee Harris and a 17-3 lead with 8:46 left in the first half. On the first play after Watt's interception, Jaylen Warren gained 2 yards, on the next play his block on safety Vonn Bell sprung Chase Claypool for a 16-yard gain to the 41-yard line. Then Trubisky dumped the ball to Zach Gentry, who took it 32 yards to the 9-yard line. On third-and-goal from the 3-yard line, Chidobe Awuzie interfered with George Pickens in the end zone. Two plays later, the ball was in the end zone.

2:04 p.m. – The Steelers defense came up with their fourth takeaway – and third interception – of the game when Cam Sutton cut underneath Tyler Boyd and made the interception at the Steelers 14-yard line. After a personal foul penalty on Minkah Fitzpatrick, the offense took over at the 7-yard line with 5:24 left in the first half.

2:22 p.m. – What Went Right: The Bengals moved to a first-and-goal at the 4-yard line following a 31-yard run by Joe Mixon, but the Steelers defense stiffened and limited Cincinnati to a 26-yard field goal that made it, 17-6, with 14 seconds left in the first half. The big play was turned in by Levi Wallace, who pushed Ja'Marr Chase out of bounds after a short catch at the pylon on third down from the 8-yard line.

HALFTIME: Steelers 17, Bengals 6

2:42 p.m. – What Went Right: The Bengals took the second half and went three-and-put, with Terrell Edmunds dropping Joe Burrow 2 yards short of the line to gain on a third-down run. After a 58-yard punt by Kevin Huber, the Steelers first possession began at their 9-yard line with 12:57 left in the third period.

2:59 p.m. – What Went Wrong: The Bengals drove 46 yards in 9 plays, got the ball into the end zone on a 2-yard pass to Tyler Boyd, and then a successful 2-point conversion on a pass to Mike Thomas cut their deficit to 17-14 with 4:41 remaining in the third quarter.

3:08 p.m. – What Went Wrong: On the Steelers possession following the touchdown and 2-point conversion, Mitch Trubisky converted one third down with a scramble, and he appeared to have done it again on the next third-down situation, but Dan Moore Jr. was flagged for holding Trey Hendrickson. Pushed back an additional 10 yards, an 8-yard completion to Zach Gentry brought Pressley Harvin on to punt. His 53-yard punt meant the Bengals would start at their 9-yard line with 21 seconds left in the third quarter.

THIRD QUARTER: Steelers 17, Bengals 14

3:16 p.m. – What Went Right: On the first play of the fourth quarter, Alex Highsmith's third sack set up a third-and-14, and the Steelers defense got off the field after the next play. Kevin Huber's 50-yard punt was returned 20 yards by Gunner Olszewski to set up the offense at the Bengals 45-yard line with 13:12 left in the fourth quarter.

3:26 p.m. – What Went Right: It was a modest drive (15 yards in 7 plays), but Chris Boswell made it pay off with a 48-yard field goal that extended the lead to 2014 with 11:13 left in the fourth quarter.

3:33 p.m. – What Went Right: Another takeaway on another interception of Ahkello Witherspoon. On fourth-and-6 from the Steelers 36-yard line, Bengals Coach Zac Taylor eschewed a field goal attempt and opted to go for the first down. Joe Burrow's pass for Tyler Boyd was intercepted by Witherspoon at the Steelers 25-yard line.

4:08 p.m. – What Went Wrong, then Right: The Bengals forged a 20-20 tie with a 6-yard touchdown pass to Ja'Marr Chase with 2 seconds left, when Chase cut to the pylon in front of Ahkello Witherspoon. But taking advantage of backup long-snapper Michael Wilcox, Minkah Fitzpatrick blocked the extra point to send the game into overtime.

4:23 p.m. – What Went Right: It all came down to the kicker who kicked five game-winning field goals in 2021, but with the Bengals again having to use their backup long-snapper, Michael Wilcox's snap was high, and Evan McPherson missed badly to the left on his 29-yard field goal attempt.

4:31 p.m. – What Went Wrong: It came down to a 55-yard field goal attempt by Chris Boswell with 2:27 remaining in overtime. Boswell's attempt banged off the left upright and was no good.

4:46 p.m. – What Went Right: A sack-strip by Arthur Maulet forced a Bengals punt from midfield that went for a touchback. The Steelers took over at the 20-yard line with 56 seconds left. Mitch Trubisky completed a 9-yard pass to Diontae Johnson, and then he hooked up with Pat Freiermuth on a 26-yard catch-and-run that put the ball at the Cincinnati 45-yard line. Two plays later, a 10-yard completion to Freiermuth moved the ball to the 35-yard line, and then two plays after that, Chris Boswell hit the game-winning field from 53 yards out to give the Steelers a 23-20 win as time expired in overtime.

FINAL SCORE: Steelers 23, Bengals 20