The Cincinnati Bengals can’t seem to figure out the Pittsburgh Steelers. In 2014, the Bengals lost both of their regular season games to the Steelers and finished just a half-game behind them in the AFC North. With a fifth seed in the AFC Conference, Cincinnati was sent to Indianapolis for the Playoffs, where they lost 26-10. Last season, the Bengals bungled their way to another loss in the NFL Playoffs, giving the Steelers a win in the Wild Card Round. This season, as Cincy looks to finally break their NFL Playoffs curse, Pittsburgh showed up in Week 2 to let them know it won’t be easy.
Cincinnati Bengals vs. Pittsburgh Steelers — Game Summary
With just under four minutes to play in the first quarter, Ben Roethlisberger hit Xavier Grimble for a 20-yard touchdown pass. On the very next drive, the Bengals’ Mike Nugent hit a 25-yard field goal to make the score 7-3, but the Bengals were never able to catch the Steelers. Nugent and Chris Boswell each had a field goal in the second quarter, and Pittsburgh had a 10-6 lead at halftime.
Unfortunately for Cincinnati, they were unable to turn things around in the second half. Pittsburgh tight end Jesse James received a 9-yard pass for Big Ben’s second touchdown completion of the game. Nugent was brought out again in the third quarter, bringing the Bengals within eight by sending the ball through the uprights from the 21-yard line. Roethlisberger had one more touchdown pass in the fourth quarter: a 4-yard toss to DeAngelo Williams. Andy Dalton had his first touchdown pass of the game when he connected with Giovani Bernard, but it was too little, too late.
Of course, in such a close game between two teams with a history like the Bengals and Steelers, it only seems fitting that there was at least one controversial call that could have changed everything. With less than two minutes to play, the Bengals had the ball in Steelers’ territory. Tyler Boyd was running the ball and was tackled by James Harrison. Boyd fumbled the ball, although the replay makes it hard to verify whether or not he still had the ball when his knee first hit the ground. If the play had been ruled down before the fumble, the Bengals would have had a chance to score a touchdown and attempt a two-point conversion to send the game to overtime.
Fantasy Football Stand-Outs
The highest-scoring fantasy football player from the Steelers/Bengals game (according to standard fantasy scoring at NFL.com) was running back DeAngelo Williams, who finished with 22.80 points off of 132 offensive yards and a touchdown. Andy Dalton (20.54 points) was the highest-scoring player from Cincinnati, throwing for 366 yards and one touchdown without any interceptions. Roethlisberger (19.86) wasn’t far behind after throwing for 259 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions. Giovanni Bernard was good for 18.10 points after 100 rushing yards, 1 touchdown run, and a fumble.
AFC North Standings
If the Browns could have kept their lead against the Ravens, there would be a three-way tie for second/last place in the AFC North, with the Steelers standing alone in first place at 2-0. Cleveland couldn’t keep their lead, however, and Baltimore is now tied for first place at 2-0 with Pittsburgh. Cincinnati’s 1-1 record puts them in third, while winless Cleveland takes last place at 0-2.
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AFC North — Week 3 Preview
Next week, the Cleveland Browns travel to Miami to face the Dolphins (0-2) as they look for their first win of the season. The Baltimore Ravens travel to Jacksonville to face the Jaguars (0-2). If they remain undefeated by beating the winless Jags, they will remain in first place in their division going into Week 4.
The same can be said for the Pittsburgh Steelers, who travel to Philadelphia to play the Eagles in Week 3. Meanwhile, the Cincinnati Bengals host the Denver Broncos.
[Featured Image by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images]