The Pittsburgh Steelers lead the ballgame 20-17 at the half following a field goal off of the Joe Burrow interception with 31 seconds remaining in the half. Kenny Pickett has had himself a nice little half and will be looking to string together his most complete start to date.
The Steelers start the half with the ball at the 25 yard line. On 1st down, a one yard gain by Diontae Johnson out wide. On 2nd, Najee Harris tackled for no gain. 3rd and 9, Pickett off target with Steven Sims across the middle of the field. The Pressley Harvin punt was placed in the corner after traveling 48 yards. Bengals start with the ball at their own 30 yard line.
Tee Higgins complete for a 16 yard gain on 1st. Back to Higgins the next play, but incomplete. Levi Wallace nice job fighting through the catch to force the incompletion. Joe Burrow was sacked on 2nd down by Alex Highsmith for a loss of 6. TJ Watt may end up splitting that sack with him. 3rd and 16, incomplete to Higgins.
The punt went 57 yards and pinned the Steelers on their own 9 yard line. Sims could have let that roll into the end zone for the touchback. Poor decision. Still a net positive for the team today, but a couple bad plays as well.
Najee Harris ran for 3 yards on first down. 2nd and 7, another 3 yard gain to Pat Freiermuth. 3rd and 4, incomplete pass intended for Freiermuth. Freiermuth hurt on the play. Jaylen Warren also out for the game as announced by the broadcast. Eli Apple kind of kicked Freiermuth directly in the rib on that play.
Pressley Harvin shanked the punt. It was called for a fair catch off a bounce and some confusion after the play. Invalid fair catch flag. Backs them up 5 yards to the 41 yard line. Still great position to start out and a bad time for that from Harvin who has otherwise punted well today.
Joe Mixon would be a big loss, but Samaje Perine has been successful so far today.
On 1st and 10, Perine rushed for 5 yards. On 2nd, Burrow incomplete intended for Higgins. 3rd and 5, its loud in Acrisure Stadium. Burrow complete to Hayden Hurst for the first down.
A deep completion on 1st down to Tee Higgins for 33 yards. Bengals now have 1st and goal from the six yard line.
On 1st and goal, Burrow ran for 5 yards. Cam Heyward saved the touchdown. 2nd and goal from the one yard line, Burrow complete to Irwin for the touchdown. 24-20 Bengals.
The Steelers take over from their own 24 yard line. Steven Sims lost 3 yards on 1st down. Incomplete pass on 2nd and its already 3rd and 13. A complete pass to Gentry on 3rd, but only for 9 yards. 4th and 4 and the Steelers should be punting. Can’t afford another shank by Harvin. The punt went 54 yards and was returned 7. Bengals take over from their 23. Marcus Allen another great ST tackle.
TJ Watt picked off the pass intended for Tyler Boyd. He put his hands up in the passing lane and intercepted the pass. Steelers take over just outside the red zone.
1st and 10, Pickett incomplete deep right to Zach Gentry. On 2nd and 10, Najee Harris left tackle for 6 yards. On 3rd, Pickett targeted Diontae Johnson short in the middle, but incomplete. The Steelers have to settle for a field goal attempt. 24-23 Bengals.
Another big kickoff return for the Bengals. Matthew Wright tripped him up. Bengals start from their own 42 yard line.
On 1st down, Arthur Maulet blitzed and forced the throwaway. Higgins gained 15 to convert on 2nd. The next play, Perine stuffed for no gain by Heyward and Jack. 2nd and 10, Irwin gained 9 yards to make it 3rd and manageable. 3rd and 1, Perine up the middle for two yards. Enough to convert.
1st and 10, Burrow incomplete intended for Higgins. It should have been a sack for either Watt or Highsmith. Bengals call their first timeout of the second half. On 2nd and 10, another incompletion this time Alualu batted the ball at the LOS. A huge 3rd and 10 upcoming and Cam Heyward in for the sack. That makes it a very difficult field goal and the Bengals might elect to just punt. The field goal is good. 27-23 Bengals.
Steven Sims returned the kickoff 18 yards to the 22 yard line. He really needs to stop picking those balls up and letting them bounce out the back.
Najee Harris picked up 5 yards on first down with a great second effort to dive forward.
END OF QUARTER 27-23 BENGALS.
On 2nd and 5, Najee Harris off left guard for a gain of just one. 3rd and 4, Pickett passed to George Pickens who made an unbelievable catch. A nice throw by Pickett too.
On 1st and 10, the flea flicker resulted in a throwaway by Pickett. 2nd and 10, Najee stuffed for a loss of two. 3rd and 12, Pickett sacked for a loss of 10. The manageable field goal opportunity quickly turned into a punt.
The Bengals take over from their own 10 yard line. Renegade playing at Acrisure Stadium.
False start backs them up 5 more yards. 1st and 15 from their own 5. Need a big play by the defense here. Samaje Perine regained two of those penalty yards on the ground. 2nd and 13, a deep incompletion intended for Irwin. 3rd and 13, deep in their own end, this is where the front 7 earn their paychecks. 3rd and 12, incomplete. A punt from their own end zone. Steelers take over already on Cincinnati’s 47. Basically turnover-like field position.
Najee Harris ripped off a 13 yard run up the middle breaking tackles. Offensive holding called on Pat Freiermuth on 1st down. 1st and 20, Hassenauer called for ineligible downfield. Steelers starting to shoot themselves in the foot.
1st and 25, incomplete on the checkdown to Najee Harris. Another incompletion on 2nd to Gunner Olszewski. 3rd and 25, not ideal. The Steelers rush Najee Harris for 7 yards up the middle, so 4th and 18 and out of field goal range.
Pressley Harvin’s punt was downed at the 9 yard line. So an identical situation to last drive, just less time on the clock.
On 1st down, Burrow complete to Tyler Boyd for 27 yards. Immediately digging his offense out of the hole. Burrow to Irwin for 32 yards the next play. 59 yards in two plays is not good enough for this defense that is mostly healthy right now.
On 1st down, Perine tackled by Montravius Adams in the backfield for a two yard loss. 2nd and 12, a conversion to Tyler Boyd. The Bengals offense is rolling. A field goal is really all the Steelers can allow here.
On 1st and 10, Williams rushed around the left end for 8 yards. Perine converted off left tackle. 1st and goal.
The 1st down play was up the middle for 2 yards. 2nd and goal from the 6, a pass to Perine. His third touchdown. 34-23 Bengals.
Steelers need to score in a hurry to have any kind of chance at the end of the game.
A quick three-and-out for the offense. The lack of execution in the second half and all of the penalties have killed the Steelers’ chances. Kenny Pickett cooled off in a big way. The Steelers line up to go for it drawing the Bengal’s 2nd timeout of the half.
The 4th down pass was an incompletion to Pat Freiermuth. Turnover on downs and that should be the ball game.
A two yard gain on 1st down for the Bengals and the Steelers call timeout #1. Williams lost one yard on the 2nd down rush. Timeout #2 called by the Steelers. 03:26 remaining in the half. 3rd and 9, a one yard gain by Perine. Steelers blow their third and final timeout. Field goal is good. 37-23 Bengals.
Sims returned the kick to the 28 yard line. Pickett was sacked on 1st down for a loss of 6. On 2nd, Freiermuth gained 9 yards. On 3rd and 7, Najee Harris picked up 11 yards in the middle of the field.
Complete to Pat Freiermuth on 1st for 9 yards. 2nd and 1 after the two minute warning.
TWO MINUTE WARNING.
Steelers are just around midfield, but short of an onside kick miracle (minus Boswell) the game is in the books.
On 2nd and 1, a deep incompletion to George Pickens. Pickens dropped the touchdown. On 3rd, Freiermuth gained 9, but the clock is running. Pickett hurries the offense up to the line and hit Gunner Olszewski for a gain of 31 yards. Steelers have 1st and goal. Olszewski gained 8 yards with a catch, but just short of the touchdown. Clock ticking, Najee Harris up the middle for a touchdown. 00:45 remaining in the game with no timeouts on either side.
An onside kick is the only path to a win. Can Matthew Wright pull it off?
George Pickens disqualified from the game during the onside kick attempt. A couple kneel downs end the game.
FINAL SCORE: 37-30 BENGALS.