After an entertaining first-half that saw both sides battle to a 14-14 halftime tie, the Bengals opened up the second-half with a 32-yard drive that ended in a Mike Nugent 48-yard field goal to put Cincy up 17-14, but the Steeelrs responded with a 6-play, 37-yard drive that ended in a Shaun Suisham 42-yarder to tie it back up.
From there, neither offense could muster anything after that as penalties, miscues, and good defense prevented either side from main ting a drive.
That was until the Steelers got the ball toward the end of the third-quarter, and after a short completion to Mike Wallace left Pitt with a 3rd-and-6, Marvin Lewis wasted a challenge trying to say Wallace didn’t maintain possession. Had they won the challenge, it would have only resulted in the Steelers facing a 3rd-and-8, a 2 yard difference. After the ruling was upheld, Roethlisberger hit Emmanuel Sanders for 33 yards to the CIN 14 end the third-quarter. After a short pass to Heath Miller, Chris Rainey capped off the drive with an 11-yard TD run to put the Steelers up 24-17, their first lead since being up 3-0 early in the first-quarter.
The Bengals would strike back with an emphatic…three-and-out, but the Bengals would hold on defense and get the ball back with 8:41 left in the game.
The Bengals would finally respond….with another three-and-out.
The Steelers would finally make the Bengals pay after Roethlisberger hit Miller for 30 yards down to the CIN 36, and things begin looking very grim for the boys in stripes.
After an incompletion followed up by a Michael Johnson left the Steelers with a 3rd-and-11, which the Steelers botched after Roethlisberger hit Wallace on a slant but he dropped what would have been a potential back-breaking first-down, but instead Pitt had Roethlisberger pooch-punt the ball to the CIN 10.
The Bengals again went three-and-out after back-to-back runs went for nothing and left the offense with a third-and-10 they couldn’t convert.
The Steelers finally picked up a big first-down on a controversial 11-yard pass to Mike Wallace on 2nd-and-10 with 2:40 remaining that essentially broke the back of the Bengals. IT appeared Wallace used the ground to cradle the ball, but after a Bengals challenge failed, the Steelers got another first-down to run out the clock and preserve 24-17 win and drop he Bengals to below .500 at 304 going into their bye-week.
They’ll return to the field November 4th to battle the Denver Broncos at PBS, with the likely debut of first-rounder Dre Kirkpatrick as they look to rebound and get back to the .500 mark. One cannot deny this was a painful loss, but the game of football is no different than the game of life: we must move on, not linger in the past, and hope for better days ahead.