The Pittsburgh Steelers entered Week 10 with a perfect 8-0 record, and they would face off against the 2-5-1 Cincinnati Bengals for the first time in the 2020 regular season. The Bengals had two weeks to get rookie quarterback Joe Burrow ready for his first meeting with the Steelers, but he would have to wait for his first opportunity with the Bengals winning the toss and choosing to defer their possession to the second half.
After just one first down on their opening possession, Jordan Berry punted the ball away to Jordan Erickson. Erickson made a move and before he was down Ola Adeniyi punched the ball out, which was recovered by Benny Snell Jr. for the first turnover of the game.
With the ball on the Cincinnati 32 yard line, Ben Roethlisberger and company could not even muster a first down, forcing Chris Boswell for his first attempt of the game. His 41-yard field goal was good, giving the Steelers an early 3-0 lead with 11:23 left in the opening quarter.
Joe Burrow and company couldn’t muster a first down after a false start on their first play from scrimmage, and just like that it was the Steelers with the football again. The Steelers’ third possession was more of the same with another Berry punt.
Another three-and-out for the Bengals gave the Steelers their best field position of the day not coming off a turnover, and after a reverse to Chase Claypool on first down the Steelers found themselves on the cusp of the red-zone. However, another drive stalled and Boswell was forced to kick a 30 yard field goal to give the Steelers a 6-0 lead with 4:53 left in the first quarter.
Joe Burrow continued to struggle, and it resulted in another three and out. Needing an injection of offense, Ben Roethlisberger connected with Diontae Johnson for a 42-yard completion, and followed it up with strike to Johnson over the middle for the Steelers touchdown.
The Steelers went for a 2-point conversion to go up 14-0, but failed when a pass intended for Chase Claypool fell incomplete. The result was a 12-0 lead with 1:51 left to play in the first quarter.
The Bengals’ offense was able to move the ball on their next possession, but it ended in a similar fashion when a pass intended for Tee Higgins was ripped out of his hands by Cam Sutton and recovered by Steven Nelson. It was the Steelers’ second turnover of the quarter, and Pittsburgh had the ball to end the first quarter.