Sep 16, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers running back Felix Jones (23) is wrapped up by Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Wallace Gilberry (95) at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

Bengals vs Steelers – Halftime Report


In their first outing with against new arch rivals, the Bengals rookie class seems to be have no issues throwing their weight around.

Cincinnati’s offense started sluggish.  Quarterback Andy Dalton looked nervous early, throwing away two 3-and-longs with overthrown passes to his tight ends, which set up an early Pittsburgh field goal.  But after a successful challenge on a deep 34-yard reception by the Steelers’ rookie tight end Derek Paulson, the Bengals were awarded a fumble.  The resulting drive produced a 61-yard Tyler Eifert reception, Giovanni Bernard scores of a 7-yard draw play.  Mike Nugent made it 10-3 Bengals after a 41 yard field goal attempt on the first drive of the second quarter.

Sep 16, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders (88) is tackled by Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick (27) during the second quarter at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

After several hard defensive stops by the Bengals followed a highly-errant passing offense giving it right back, Ben Roethisberger connected on two long passes to set up 1st and Goal from the 1 yard line at the 2 Minute Warning.  A fade connection to Matt Forte tied the game up at 10-10.

The Bengals proceed to start essentially a Two Minute Drill from their own 15 with two time outs.  The result is a final play Hail Mary from midfield, dropped in the end zone by Mohammed Sanu under coverage from Steelers corner Ike Taylor.

Important positive note: the Bengal run game has been quiet but effective.  BenJarvus Green-Ellis has 34 yards on 7 carries (4.7 yards per), while Giovanni Bernard has 19 yards on 3 carries (6.3 yards per).  With just over 53 yards, the committee back approach is on track for a 100 yard game.  The Bengals will receive the kick when the second half begins.

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