The last undefeated team in the NFL has now lost three straight games.
The Cincinnati Bengals made an early jump over the Pittsburgh Steelers and rallied for a second half in a 27–17 win over the Steelers on Monday night.
Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers offenses looked completely broken in the first half as the Bengals took a 17-0 lead. The Steelers had a total of 40 yards with 7 net passing yards, two first downs and three turnovers. Roethlisberger had completed just 7-of-16 passes for 19 yards and an interception with two fumbles and a loss. Juju Smith-Schuster also lost a fumble for Pittsburgh as part of three first-half turnovers.
Ryan Finley is Cincinnati’s third different quarterback this season, which did little for the Bengals. But he was not accompanied by mistakes from the Steelers. Finale completed 13 of 7 passes for 89 yards. It was the first win for the Bengals when they had fewer than 80 net passing yards since their 14–0 win over the Cleveland Browns in December 2008 at quarterback. The game was played in 18 degrees with a wind of 26 mph.
But Finale also rushed for 47 yards and a touchdown to help the Bengals to victory. Perhaps even more importantly, he did not turn the ball over and the Bengals defense blocked the Steelers from producing.
All 17 first half points for Cincinnati came out of Pittsburgh turnovers.
Roethlysberger took a 3–0 lead with a 34-yard Austin Seibert field goal. Smith-Schuster sparked a hit from Von Bell to give the 4-yard Giovani Bernard touchdown a 10-0 lead. Rothlisberger was dismissed three times later by Mackensey Alexander and Finale gave Bernard a 17–0 lead on a 14-yard score.
Bernard had 83 yards and a touchdown on 25 carries for Cincinnati.
Crippling faults disappeared in the second half but the hole was too big for Pittsburgh to climb from outside.
Roethlisberger hit Diane Johnson for a 23-yard touchdown on Pittsburgh’s second-half opening drive. Chris Boswell scored a 25-yard field goal in his next campaign to take a seven-run lead.
Finale would then be left unaccounted for a read-option run and 23 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter to extend the lead to two touchdowns.
William Jackson dropped an interception for Cincinnati and then picked up a pass interference call against Johnson that moved the Steelers to the 1-yard line. Benny Snell scored from one yard out in the next match, as the Steelers drew within a touchdown. Pittsburgh will get one last chance with 2:18 remaining. However, they would go four-out with James Washington pressuring Rothlisberger in a throw to the head.
Turnovers on the down gave a short field that allowed a 33-yard field goal from Seabert to bring the margin to 10 points.
Rothlisberger became just the seventh quarterback in NFL history to reach 60,000 passing yards for his career during a performance. He finished the night 20–38 with just 170 yards a touchdown, interception and a lost fumble.