Most of the first quarter in Cincinnati tonight amounted a visit by an old nemesis, the Pittsburgh Steelers, and some old demons, sloppy kick coverage, inopportune penalties and a defense without a taste for blood.
After both teams went three and out, the Steelers punt return moved them into scoring position until a sack forced a third and sixteen from the Bengals 40. A 14 yard pickup by Felix Jones moved the ball back into range for Shaun Suisham’s 44 yard field goal to take the 3-0 lead.
The Bengals answered with a penalty on third and five that led to another punt pinning the Steelers within their five yard line. Presented with a chance to impact the game, the defense, instead gave up a number of first downs and a six yard Ben Roethlisberger keepeer. After a Bengals pass interference the Steelers found themselves near midfield.
Then fate changed. After catching a long 2nd and 10 pass, Steeler rookie, David Paulson was whistled down before he lost the ball. Despite the Steeler’s attempt to snap the ball quickly, Coach Marvin Lewis was able to toss his replay flag, a replay he would actually win.
Gaining possession at their 13, the Bengals were able to notch a couple of first downs before Andy Dalton found rookie tight end, Tyle Eifert, over the middle for 61 yards. Two plays later, rookie Giovani Bernard would put the Bengals up 7-3 with a seven yard rush through the defensive line.
So the Steelers and the demons showed up at Paul Brown Stadium long before Halloween. At least in the first quarter, the Bengals rookies were able to beat them back.