The Bengals and the Steelers have had a rough history in the past few years. Now, the Bengals’ season is largely riding on a Monday Night Football game against the Steelers. The Steelers are on a hot streak after a relatively slow start to the season and are favorites to get a top seed in the AFC. If the Bengals can pull off this upset against the Steelers, they will be in a good position to make a playoff push with improved offensive line play. With how well the Steelers’ defense has played this season, the Bengals will need to play to their best ability on offense. If the Bengals wanted to pick a game to let John Ross loose it would be this game, especially with the Steelers’ deep defense struggling recently.
The game starts off with the Steelers receiving the ball and it ends up being a touchback. The Steelers immediately get off to a very good start with a big 20 yard gain to Antonio Brown on second down after a run on first down. After that the Steelers once again run the ball for no gain on first down. Then on second down, Bell is able to break free and jukes George Iloka before running into the endzone for a 55 yard touchdown. The Steelers go up 7-0.
The Bengals receive the ball and their drive starts off pretty well. Joe Mixon is able to get going and the offensive line is blocking well. Andy Dalton hits A.J. Green on the sideline for a big gain. The Steelers full out blitz on first down and bottle up Mixon in the backfield for a loss. Dalton on second down rolls out and throws the ball away. Then on third down Dalton takes a deep shot and throws an interception to Mike Mitchell.
The Steelers start to march down the field and the Bengals run defense starts to tire out with the Steelers largely running the ball with Bell. The Bengals are not able to stop Bell until after the Steelers get into field goal range. The Bengals eventually bottle up Bell and the Steelers are forced to take a field goal. They take a two possession lead at 10-0 with the second quarter winding down.
The Bengals receive the ball with just less than six minutes left in the second quarter and go three-and-out. The Steelers also quickly are stopped and are forced to punt the ball back to the Bengals with just more than two minutes left. The Bengals drive down the field and with under 10 seconds left, Dalton hits Brandon LaFell in the endzone for a touchdown.
To start the second half the Bengals drive down the field and get into field goal range before being stopped. However, Randy Bullock is not able to get the leg under the kick and it is no good. This starts a series of failed drives by both teams until the start of the fourth quarter. At the start of the fourth quarter the Bengals are finally able to sustain a drive, however they have to settle for the field goal and tie up the game.
The Steelers receive the ball and the Bengals defense locks up, forcing the Steelers to punt. The Bengals receive the punt with the chance to take the lead with less than minutes left. However, they are unable to capitalize and end up having to punt back to the Steelers. The Steelers are able to sustain a drive and with just more than one minute remaining and make a field goal to take the lead, 13-10.
With roughly a minute left, the Bengals are driving down the field to try to tie or take the lead in the game. Dalton does well hitting Green and LaFell for big gains and first downs and the Bengals get to the 38 yard line with just less than 20 seconds remaining and no timeouts. The Bengals try one more passing play to make the field goal easier. Dalton ends up rolling out and scrambling, but is unable to get out of bounds, as he slides in bounds. Time runs out before the Bengals can get back to the line and the Steelers win 13-10.
Hopefully, Madden is wrong and the Bengals end up on top come Monday night.