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Monday, September 01, 2014         

STEELERS 27 • BENGALS 21


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Pittsburgh's defense stops Cincinnati's final push

By Joe Kay

Associated Press

POSTED:


CINCINNATI » At the end of a night full of foibles, tricks and missed chances, the Pittsburgh Steelers turned to their one constant to finish it off.

That unyielding defense came through again.

James Harrison and Ryan Clark stripped the ball away from Jordan Shipley near the 5-yard line on Cincinnati's final play, preserving a 27-21 victory over the Bengals last night that left the AFC North with an old, familiar look.

The Steelers (6-2) are again at the top, sharing the spot with Baltimore. The defending-champion Bengals (2-6) are in last place alone after their fifth straight loss, coming up one completion short.

Credit that last rib-jolting hit -- legal all-around -- by the Steelers' on-the-spot defenders.

"The defense held strong," said Ben Roethlisberger, who was 17-for-27 for 163 yards with a touchdown and an interception that helped the Bengals rally at the end.

"This is how the Steelers play ball," Pittsburgh defensive back Ike Taylor said. "We might get a blowout here and there. But we're always in tough, close ballgames. As a defense we just want to close them out. That's what we did tonight."

Pittsburgh seemed to be in control when Antwaan Randle El threw a 39-yard touchdown pass off a trick play to open the fourth quarter, building a 27-7 lead made possible by the Bengals' many mistakes. Pittsburgh also had points set up by a fumbled kickoff, a blocked punt and a missed field goal.

Then, the Steelers turned sloppy as well. Roethlisberger threw an interception that set up Terrell Owens' second touchdown catch of the game, and Jeff Reed missed a 46-yard field goal try that would have clinched it with 3:59 to go.

The drama had just begun.

Carson Palmer led the Bengals downfield with the help of a wacky play. His pass to Cedric Benson was tipped, but the running back made a juggling catch for a 16-yard gain on third and long. Chad Ochocinco's only catch of the game moved it to the 12-yard line.

It was fitting that Harrison had a shoulder in the final play. He got his third fine of the season, this one pushing the total to $100,000, for a hit last week on the Saints' Drew Brees.

Commissioner Roger Goodell was at the game, watching as the Harrison-led defense got the best of the Ohio River rivalry, one the Bengals swept last season with the help of a last-minute comeback at Paul Brown Stadium.

Eight seconds into the game, the Bengals already were in trouble.

The Steelers won the coin toss and deferred to the second half. Bernard Scott got the kickoff and fumbled at the Cincinnati 25. Pittsburgh needed four plays to score, with Rashard Mendenhall pushing the final yard for a 7-0 lead.

Bengals fans were incredulous moments later when William Gay burst through the middle of the line untouched and blocked Kevin Huber's punt at the Cincinnati 30-yard line -- Pittsburgh's first blocked punt in two years.

Reed's 25-yard field goal made it 10-0, just like that.

 

Steelers 27, Bengals 21

Pittsburgh 10 10 0 7 -- 27
Cincinnati 0 7 0 14 -- 21

FIRST QUARTER
Pit--Mendenhall 1 run (Reed kick), 12:57.
Pit--FG Reed 25, 7:46.
SECOND QUARTER
Cin--Owens 19 pass from C.Palmer (Nugent kick), 8:46.
Pit--Ward 8 pass from Roethlisberger (Reed kick), 2:07.
Pit--FG Reed 53, :05.
FOURTH QUARTER
Pit--Wallace 39 pass from Randle El (Reed kick), 14:50.
Cin--Owens 27 pass from C.Palmer (Nugent kick), 13:12.
Cin--Benson 1 run (Nugent kick), 9:05.
A--65,626.

 

  PIT CIN
First downs 14 18
Total Net Yards 314 272
Rushes-yards 32-121 18-54
Passing 193 218
Punt Returns 1-0 3-9
Kickoff Returns 4-88 6-132
Interceptions Ret. 1-0 1-0
Comp-Att-Int 18-28-1 22-36-1
Sacked-Yards Lost 1-9 4-30
Punts 5-40.6 5-33.2
Fumbles-Lost 2-1 2-1
Penalties-Yards 7-73 3-30
Time of Possession 32:19 27:41

RUSHING--Pittsburgh, Mendenhall 22-99, Roethlisberger 5-13, Moore 2-5, Redman 2-2, Randle El 1-2. Cincinnati, Benson 18-54.
PASSING--Pittsburgh, Roethlisberger 17-27-1-163, Randle El 1-1-0-39. Cincinnati, C.Palmer 22-36-1-248.
RECEIVING--Pittsburgh, Wallace 5-110, Mendenhall 3-31, Miller 3-21, Ward 3-10, Moore 2-8, Spaeth 1-12, Randle El 1-10. Cincinnati, Owens 10-141, Shipley 4-47, Leonard 3-14, Benson 2-20, Gresham 2-11, Ochocinco 1-15.

 

NFL STANDINGS

AMERICAN FOOTBALL CONFERENCE

East W L T Pct PF PA
N.Y. Jets 6 2 0 .750 182 130
New England 6 2 0 .750 219 188
Miami 4 4 0 .500 143 175
Buffalo 0 8 0 .000 150 233
South W L T Pct PF PA
Tennessee 5 3 0 .625 224 150
Indianapolis 5 3 0 .625 217 168
Jacksonville 4 4 0 .500 165 226
Houston 4 4 0 .500 193 226
North W L T Pct PF PA
Baltimore 6 2 0 .750 175 139
Pittsburgh 6 2 0 .750 174 123
Cleveland 3 5 0 .375 152 156
Cincinnati 2 6 0 .250 167 190
West W L T Pct PF PA
Kansas City 5 3 0 .625 183 145
Oakland 5 4 0 .556 235 188
San Diego 4 5 0 .444 239 197
Denver 2 6 0 .250 154 223

NATIONAL FOOTBALL CONFERENCE

East W L T Pct PF PA
N.Y. Giants 6 2 0 .750 216 160
Philadelphia 5 3 0 .625 198 181
Washington 4 4 0 .500 155 170
Dallas 1 7 0 .125 161 232
South W L T Pct PF PA
Atlanta 6 2 0 .750 196 154
New Orleans 6 3 0 .667 201 151
Tampa Bay 5 3 0 .625 157 190
Carolina 1 7 0 .125 88 184
North W L T Pct PF PA
Green Bay 6 3 0 .667 221 143
Chicago 5 3 0 .625 148 133
Minnesota 3 5 0 .375 156 168
Detroit 2 6 0 .250 203 188
West W L T Pct PF PA
St. Louis 4 4 0 .500 140 141
Seattle 4 4 0 .500 130 181
Arizona 3 5 0 .375 157 225
San Francisco 2 6 0 .250 137 178






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