The Bengals opened the game with a three and out on offense, followed with a poor 38-yard Kevin Huber punt with heavy wind conditions, allowing the Steelers to open their first possession from their own 46-yard line -- aka, ideal field position. Following a four-yard run by Rashard Mendenhall, Ben Roethlisberger completes a seven-yard pass to Mike Wallace on a hitch route to his right giving the Steelers a first down at the Bengals 43-yard line.
Heath Miller (short slant over the middle) and Mike Wallace (bubble screen) combined for 12 yards receiving on consecutive passes, setting up another first down from the Bengals 31-yard line. An end around to Wallace posted another 15 yards, establishing the Steelers offense inside the redzone from the Bengals 16-yard line.
Roethlisberger hands to Mendenhall, who couldn't get back to the line of scrimmage following a Chris Crocker blitz that forced the running back inside. Gibril Wilson and Geno Atkins finished the tackle. Great pressure from the Cincinnati Bengals on second down forces Roethlisberger to throw the football out of bounds setting up a third and ten from Cincinnati's 16-yard line.
Jonathan Fanene sprints unblocked into the backfield, but fails to deliver the hit after Roethlisberger steps up into the pocket. He starts scrambling to his right before uncorking a throw over the middle to wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery into the endzone for a touchdown and a seven-point lead.