As the momentum of the game swung back-and-forth through nearly three quarters, the Bengals were in prime position to pull out a win as the Steelers were injured, old, and facing a rocking PBS crowd that seemed destined to watch their team pull out only their third victory vs. Pittsburgh in Paul Brown Stadium.
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 was down by contact after the 2-yard completion. It took only one or two angles to show that Wallace did have possession when his knee touched the ground. Had they won the challenge, it would have only resulted in the Steelers facing a 3rd-and-8, a 2 yard difference. After a the Steelers were given ample to time to devise a good third-down play 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, and would ultimatlely prove to be the final score, as the Steelers improved to 12-2 at PBS, and have won their last five overall against Cincinnati and 10 of the last 12. Roethlisberger also improved to 15-2 all-time in Cleveland and Cincinnati after playinghis collegiate ball at Miami University.
The record isn’t quite as good for Marvin Lewis’ challenges, as he has challenged 66 plays in his NFL coaching career, with only 26 calls being overturned (31.5%).
Lewis attempted to defend the challenge, but ulmtimately admitted it was a failure:
It was thought he (Steelers receiver Mike Wallace) rolled over Leon Hall (before losing the ball). Unfortunately, I think his knees touched before he did roll over Leon, so he was down immediately. It was just an error.