Steelers up 10-3 on the Bengals at halftime. Mason Rudolph has looked a lot more comfortable, going 17/18 for 132 yards and a touchdown. The running backs have also gotten more involved as James Conner and Jaylen Samuels have combined for over 125 yards from scrimmage. The only blemish on the Steelers’ performance was an early fumble by Diontae Johnson, which led to the Bengals’ only scoring drive. Since then, both the offense and defense have performed admirably as the Steelers defense has also recorded three sacks and one forced fumble.
Steelers are set to receive the second half kick off.
First play of the second half sees James Conner break out a 21-yard run but he seemed to injure himself on the carry. Limped off to the sideline. On third and five, Rudolph finds Jaylen Samuels for 14-yards into Cincinnati territory. On 2nd and 15, Rudolph extends the play and finds Nick Vannett for enough to move the chains. Conner returned on the very next play and bounced off numerous tackles for 21-yard gain to the two yard line. Samuels did the rest from there as he kept the direct snap and ran in untouched for a two-yard touchdown. Steelers 17, Bengals 3.
Bengals take over at their own 25 and on 2nd down, Andy Dalton is taken down by Cameron Heyward. That’s 1.5 sacks so far for the Steelers’ defensive captain. The third and 21 pass is dropped and out comes the Bengals punt team.
Kevin Huber punts 29-yards and the Steelers take over at the Bengals’ 43-yard line. Two plays later and Rudolph finds Diontae Johnson WIDE OPEN for a 43-yard touchdown. Johnson was streaking across the field and walked in for a 24-3 Steelers lead.
Joe Mixon took the first carry on the ensuing drive for 15 yards to the Bengals’ own 40-yard line. T.J. Watt notched his second sack of the night (1.5) a few plays later, forcing a second and long. Five sacks tonight for the Steelers defense. Sorry make it six sacks because Javon Hargrave decided to join the sack party, sacking Dalton on 3rd and 20.
Steelers take over at their own 31-yard line, and Conner takes the handoff for 7 yards. Unfortunately, the Steelers were unable to put points on the board this time as an incomplete pass on third down brought out Jordan Berry.
After a touchback, the Bengals take over at their own 20-yard line. On third and 6, Dalton was able to find Eifert for a first down. Mixon then picked up 3-yards on a 3rd and one to put the ball near midfield. That’s the end of the third quarter, Steelers lead 24-3.
Fourth quarter starts off with a 2nd and 10 and Mixon is stopped for no gain. On third and 10, Dalton’s pass was incomplete but a pass interference penalty on Steven Nelson gave the Bengals an automatic first down. With new life, Dalton connected with Auden Tate for a 23-yard gain to the Steelers’ 21-yard line. John Ross caught one for 11-yards to then take it down to the Steelers’ 10 yard line. On third and goal, Dalton’s pass to Eifert went out of the end zone. Down 21, Dalton remains out there and a false start moves them back to the 15-yard line.
MARK BARRON INTERCEPTION ALERT
On fourth and goal, Barron intercepted Dalton’s pass in the end zone. Steelers red zone defense has been on fire tonight.
Johnson took a carry around the right end and Bengals’ cornerback B.W. Webb was penalized for a helmet to helmet hit. Gain of 21 yards after the penalty. Facing a third and 9, Rudolph dumped it off to Jaylen Samuels, who showed incredible heart diving past the first down marker to move the chains. Even up 21, great effort by Samuels. A no gain by Samuels plus another personal foul penalty by the Bengals’ defense put the Steelers at the Cincinnati 33-yard line. After the offense failed to gain anymore ground, Chris Boswell came on to nail a 49-yard field goal. Steelers up 27-3.
After escaping a few pressures, Dalton managed to get to 3rd and 6 but his pass to Tyler Boyd was stopped short of the sticks. Boyd was shaken up and taken off by the trainers. Giovanni Bernard was able to navigate his way through the trenches for a short gain on 4th and 1. Dalton was not able to avoid the pressure again as Heyward absolutely pummeled Dalton on 2nd and 10, make that 2.5 sacks for Heyward tonight. Unfortunately the Bengals were bailed out again as Joe Haden was called for pass interference on 4th and 9. We’ve reached the two minute warning with the Bengals facing a 3rd and 10 at the Steelers’ 48-yard line.
Cameron Sutton has a diving pass break up on a sideline pass on 3rd and 10. Steelers get their eighth sack of the night on fourth down with Tyson Alualu taking down Dalton.
Rudolph begins his kneel down sequence and the Steelers officially have their first victory of the season. Next week, the Steelers will welcome the Baltimore Ravens with a chance to tie for the division lead.