A week after the Steelers' performance left several questions on the field, they had no answer for Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green.
The Bengals' defense just had no answer for Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell.
Bell had his third consecutive 200-yard game, rushing for 185 yards and gaining another 50 in the passing game, as the Steelers blew the doors off of the Bengals 42-21 at Paul Brown Stadium in Week 14.
The Steelers started the scoring when Roethlisberger hit tight end Heath Miller on a one-yard touchdown pass off of a nice play fake to Le'Veon Bell. Cincinnati took no time to use Green, as Andy Dalton hit him on a 51-yard touchdown pass to set up a 10-yard strike from Dalton to TE Jermaine Gresham to tie the game.
The Steelers offense faltered right as Cincinnati's was warming up. Dalton executed a great play fake, suckering pretty much the entire Steelers' defense, as well as the CBS camera crew, while scampering for a 20-yard touchdown run.
The Steelers drew to 14-10 at the end of the first half, settling for a late FG despite having three plays inside the Bengals' five-yard line.
Pittsburgh looked much more in control on the defensive side of the ball, which coincided with Bell's big half. Roethlisberger hit Bell for a 10-yard touchdown catch-and-run with 5:24 left in the third quarter.
Dalton went back to Green, as the pair connected on an 81-yard touchdown pass that had free safety Mike Mitchell flailing and Ike Taylor chasing from four yards behind him. The Steelers' secondary was savaged again, the second week in a row allowing a player over 150 yards receiving.
Bell responded right back, cracking off a 53-yard run that would eventually set up another field goal from Shaun Suisham. The Steelers' failures in the red zone affected the final score again.
But they wouldn't let the same mistake happen again. Dalton fumbled on a play-action fake and, after Arthur Moats recovered, Bell scored from 13 yards out, putting to bed any questions or concerns about the extent of his workload. He overpowered two Bengals defenders in what was perhaps his best run of the season.
Roethlisberger would then hit Heath Miller for the two-point conversion, giving the Steelers a 28-21 lead.
This is when it got out of hand.
The Steelers exploded in the fourth quarter, getting touchdowns off of a 94-yard pass from Roethlisberger to rookie WR Martavis Bryant and another run on the same power play to Bell. Suddenly, the Steelers had pulled ahead to the final score 42-21.
The win puts the Steelers at 8-5 on the season, one half-game behind the Bengals.
With Baltimore winning and Cleveland leading late against Indianapolis, one tie could be what separates the top from the bottom in the AFC North.