The Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals met for the 100th time in Week 4, and it just so happens the meeting was in prime time on Monday Night Football. Oh, and it also included two 0-3 teams looking for their first win of the regular season.
The two teams had a different look about them considering how gone are Marvin Lewis and Vontaze Burfict for Cincinnati, and Ben Roethlisberger was replaced by Mason Rudolph making his second career start for the injured signal caller. Regardless of the changes, the Steelers and Bengals squared off at Heinz Field with the Bengals receiving the opening kickoff and taking the first possession of the game.
After a short drive, capped off by a Devin Bush sack, Cincinnati punted the ball to the Steelers for their first offensive possession of the game.
Good luck blocking 5️⃣5️⃣! pic.twitter.com/XJrY9raQ47— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) October 1, 2019
Mason Rudolph and company came onto the field, but it was short lived after Diontae Johnson fumbled the ball on second down and it was recovered by the defense.
Starting the possession on the 15-yard line, but three straight passes resulted in a 28 yard Randy Bullock field goal to make the score 3-0 with 8:22 left in the first quarter.
On the next possession Pittsburgh used a variety of looks to move the ball into Cincinnati territory for the first time. Jaylen Samuels was used as the quarterback in a wildcat look, and several jet-sweep plays set the Steelers up for a 4th and 1 to keep the drive alive, but after a timeout James Conner was stopped short of the line of gain, giving the ball back to the Bengals.
After both teams exchanged possessions, it was a Cincinnati three and out which gave Rudolph and company their best field position of the night. After a couple first downs it was Rudolph who hit James Conner for a short completion which Conner turned into a touchdown reception.
No stopping him on this one‼️ pic.twitter.com/Ekpai95VUr— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) October 1, 2019
Chris Boswell’s point-after was good, giving the Steelers a 7-3 lead with 10:32 left in the first half.
Andy Dalton and company put together a nice drive in response to the Steelers’ first score of the game, and on the cusp of the red-zone Dalton was hit by Bud Dupree, causing a fumble which was recovered by T.J. Watt.
With 5:49 left in the half, and Pittsburgh holding one timeout in their back pocket, Pittsburgh was able to move the ball down the field and into the red-zone with less than a minute left in the half. But on 3rd and 3, Jaylen Samuels was stopped for a loss of three and the Steelers settled for a Chris Boswell 27 yard field goal to make the score 10-3 with 58 seconds left in the half.
The Steelers started the second half the same way the ended the first half, but with one major difference. With a good mix of the short passing game and power running, James Conner moved the Steelers deep in Cincinnati territory. Facing a first and goal, the Steelers utilized the wildcat formation again with Samuels at quarterback, he kept the football and scored his first touchdown of 2019.
The Boswell kick was good, giving the Steelers a 17-3 lead early in the third quarter.
After another Bengals three-and-out, Rudolph hit Diontae Jonson for a 43-yard touchdown on second down to add to the Steelers lead.
Boswell’s point-after was good, making the score 24-3 with 9:24 left in the third quarter.
Following the Johnson touchdown reception, both offenses stalled, but it was Cincinnati who threatened next. Dalton use the hurry-up offense to move the Bengals’ offense into the red-zone, but on 4th down Dalton’s pass was intercepted by Mark Barron, ending the threat and giving the Steelers their second turnover of the game.
Taking their next possession, the Steelers wanted to kill as much clock as possible with the running game, and add to their current lead. They did just that en route to a Chris Boswell 49 yard field goal to make the score 27-3 with 5:51 left in regulation.
Cincinnati had one last gasp effort to put points on the board, but it was another sack by the Steelers, this time Tyson Alualu, who notched the Steelers’ 8th sack on the night and put Mason Rudolph in the victory formation.
The Steelers’ win gives them their first win of the season, and moves their record to 1-3. It also improves their division record to 1-0 and puts them only a game behind both the Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens at 2-2. The Steelers will host the Ravens in Week 5 at Heinz Field. Stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black-and-gold heading into next week’s huge game.