The Steelers received the football to start the third quarter, but were unable to even muster a first down before giving the ball right back to Joe Burrow and the Bengals offense. Luckily for the Steelers, the Bengals’ next drive didn’t result in points after a sack by Alex Highsmith stalled the drive.
Another Steelers 3-and-out gave the Bengals their second possession of the third quarter, and Joe Burrow started to warm up at just the right time. A Burrow pass to Tee Higgins set up the Bengals in a 1st and goal situation, and a pass to Trenton Irwin gave the Bengals the lead. The McPherson extra point made the score 24-20 with 7:02 left in the third quarter.
Yet another Steelers 3-and-out saw Harvin punt the ball back to the Bengals. On Burrow’s first pass attempt, T.J. Watt timed it perfectly and intercepted the pass.
It set up the Steelers in prime position offensively, but all they could do was set up Matthew Wright for a field goal, making the score 24-23 with 4:28 left in the third quarter.
Cincinnati’s offense was still able to consistently move the football, but thanks to a sack by Cam Heyward on a critical 3rd and 10, it set up a 54-yard field goal attempt for McPherson. The Bengals’ placekicker nailed the kick, giving Cincinnati a 27-23 lead with 31 seconds left in the 3rd quarter.
The score would stand heading into the 4th quarter.