The Bengals will be playing from behind again in the second half as they trail the Steelers 28-7 at half time. Penalties have been the biggest difference in this game as one touchdown was negated for the Bengals and they were taken out of field goal range by another penalty. All in all, the Bengals have committed six penalties that have amounted to 80 yards.
Here is a recap of the first half of the Bengals Week 13 game against the Steelers.
The Bengals came out of the gate running... kind of. They forced the Steelers into a three-and-out on their first possession and got the ball on their own 37 and proceeded to march down the field. After a 43-yard pass to A.J. Green on their second offensive play of the game, it looked like the Bengals might strike first and finally look good against a team in the first half. That didn't happen though. A touchdown pass to Jermaine Gresham was called back thanks to a false start called on Green and then the Bengals field goal was negated thanks to a delay of game penalty. On their next try, the field goal attempt was blocked by rookie defensive end Cameron Heyward.
That was just the beginning of the Bengals first-half woes.
The Bengals forced the Steelers to punt again on their second possession but when they got the ball back, they couldn't do anything with it either. After seven plays the Bengals punted right back to Pittsburgh.
That's when things really started to fall apart.
The Steelers marched 87 yards down the field to score the game's first touchdown, a short run by Rashard Mendenhall. When the Bengals got the ball back they went three-and-out and had to punt right back to the Steelers. Pittsburgh got the ball back on their own 35 yard line and, thanks to a pass interference call on Chris Crocker, were able to march down the field again. They scored another touchdown on another Rashard Mendenhall run.
If that sounds familiar to you it's because the last time the Bengals played the Steelers, in Week 10, Mendenhall scored two touchdowns in the beginning of the game to give the Steelers a 14-point lead in that game too.
The Bengals got the ball back but turned it over before the offense ever had a chance to step foot on the field. Brandon Tate caught the kickoff in the end zone and decided to take it out. As he was crossing the 20-yard line, his arm was hit by a Pittsburgh defender and the ball was knocked loose. After the pileup on top of the ball was cleared up, the Steelers had possession just outside the red zone. It only took three plays for Ben Roethlisberger to find Mike Wallace open in the end zone and with that the Steelers had a 21-0 lead.
But it seems that the Bengals are the Seabiscuit of the NFL -- they have to get behind before they really start firing on all cylinders.
The Bengals got the ball back on their own 20 on the next drive and proceeded to drive 80 yards down the field for their first touchdown. The Bengals had the ball on the Steelers' 11-yard line when Andy Dalton found Green open in the end zone and got him the ball.
It looked like the Bengals were going to mount another come-from-behind attempt. After they scored, they managed to force the Steelers to punt the ball away with just over two minutes left in the half. The Bengals offense couldn't do anything with the ball though and were forced to punt from deep in their own end zone. That punt was caught by Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown and Brown proceeded to run the punt all 65 yards back to where it came from.
With that, the Steelers had a 28-7 lead with just over one minute left in the half and the Bengals let the clock run out while they had the ball.
Cincinnati will get the ball to start the second half and both the offense and defense will need to play as well as they possibly can if they want to dig themselves out of the big hole they're in.