The Pittsburgh Steelers entered Week 12 with a 5-4-1 record, and a win over the Cincinnati Bengals would go far in keeping the Steelers’ divisional, and playoff, hopes alive. Nonetheless, a trip to Paul Brown Stadium is anything but easy, with Pittsburgh hoping to avoid losing to the Bengals three straight times for the first time in over 30 years.
Pittsburgh won the opening coin toss and chose to defer their possession to the second half, putting Joe Burrow on the field to start the game. The drive the Bengals put together was impressive, and featured running back Joe Mixon. A 25-yard run by Mixon moved the ball into Pittsburgh territory, and the drive ended with an 8-yard Joe Burrow touchdown run to give the Bengals an early 7-0 lead.
The first Pittsburgh possession was short-lived after Ben Roethlisberger’s pass intended for Chase Claypool was intercepted by Eli Apple and returned to the 5-yard line. The only positive was the Steelers’ defense held the Bengals to a field goal, making the score 10-0 with 6:01 left in the opening quarter.
On the first play of the Steelers’ next drive Roethlisberger went right back to Claypool and connected for 45-yards. The play set up the Steelers to put their first points of the game, but the only points the could muster was a Chris Boswell field goal. The kick made the score 7-3 with 2:17 left in the opening frame.
The Bengals have the ball in Pittsburgh territory at the end of the first quarter.