Cincinnati's offense starts the game with consecutive three and out possessions, highlighted with Andy Dalton completing only one of his first four passes with little help from his receivers. The Steelers, on the other hand, easily drove on the Cincinnati Bengals defense in eight plays for 54 yards, posting the game's first touchdown and a seven-point lead.
Following a three-yard run to Rashard Mendenhall that was slowed by Rey Maualuga, Ben Roethlisberger fakes the second down handoff and leans to his left. After avoiding the pass rush, Roethlisberger throws across the field to a wide-open Mendenhall near the right sidelines, picking up 26 yards on the reception with virtually no defenders in the area. Mike Wallace follows that up with a 16-yard end around to Cincinnati's 33-yard line. On second down, following an Isaac Redman three-yard run, Hines Ward picks up another ten yards on a reception to his Roethlisberger's right, pushing the Steelers to the Bengals 20-yard line.
A miss-fire to a wide-open Cotchery and a Micahel Johnson deflection on a screen to the left, the Steelers have third and ten from the 20-yard line. Roethlisberger takes the shotgun, and throws over the middle to Heath Miller on a slant with Kelly Jennings covering. The Steelers tight end records the 18-yard reception, even holding onto the football with a Reggie Nelson smack, recording the first down. Mendenhall scored the game's second touchdown from the Bengals two-yard line, giving the Steelers a 14-point lead.
We're in trouble.