Despite suffering several injuries on the defensive side of the ball, the Bengals led by a single point with just over a minute to play against their biggest rivals. The lead would not hold unfortunately, as the Steelers drove 77 yards on seven plays and scored a game-winning touchdown with just seconds remaining.
Despite all the optimism from the team’s 4-1 start, some things just haven’t changed.
Here are our live updates from the game:
Fourth quarter update:
After several failed offensive drives, the Steelers offense broke free thanks to a 48-yard Antonio Brown reception. A few plays later, rookie cornerback Darius Phillips forced tight end Vance McDonald to fumble on a third-and-two inside the Bengals’ 10-yard line, and the Steelers knocked in a 24-yard field goal to extend their lead to 20-14.
On the ensuing Bengals’ drive, Andy Dalton passed Boomer Esiason’s place as the Bengals’ second all-time leading passer.
Andy Dalton just passed Boomer Esiason for second most passing yards (27,165) in #Bengals history— Jeremy Rauch (@FOX19Jeremy) October 14, 2018
The drive ended with Joe Mixon rushing for a four-yard touchdown run. Randy Bullock’s extra point gave the Bengals the lead back 21-20.
Unfortunately, too much time was left on the clock for the Steelers, and after a crucial third-down defensive holding penalty on Dre Kirkpatrick, Ben Roethlisberger connected with Antonio Brown for a 31-yard touchdown to seal the game.
Third quarter update:
Following a Bengals three-and-out, the Bengals declared Darqueze Dennard out of for the game with that right shoulder injury.
Darqueze Dennard officially declared out with a right shoulder injury.— Paul Dehner Jr. (@pauldehnerjr) October 14, 2018
Injuries continued to pile up for the Bengals defense, as both starting safeties Jessie Bates and Shawn Williams were sidelined on the Steelers first drive of the half.
#Bengals two starting safeties out at the moment.. Shawn Williams also being looked at on bench— Richard Skinner (@Local12Skinny) October 14, 2018
The drive lasted 12 plays but fell inches short of the end zone. Kicker Chris Boswell’s 21-yard field goal gave the Steelers a 17-14 lead.
Jessie Bates returned on the following Steelers drive, but the Bengals have now declared Shawn Williams out of the game with a concussion.
INJURY UPDATE: S Shawn Williams has been declared out with a concussion.#PITvsCIN— Cincinnati Bengals (@Bengals) October 14, 2018
The Bengals are tied with the Steelers at 14-14, but not without suffering their fair share of injuries.
Both Vontaze Burfict and Darqueze Dennard suffered right shoulder injuries late in the second quarter and their returns are up in the air.
Joe Mixon was not on the field for the team’s final drive of the half, but no injury has been reported for the running back.
No injury report on Mixon. Not sure why he's not in there. Sat out most of last drive. #Bengals— Jay Morrison (@JayMorrisonATH) October 14, 2018
INJURY UPDATE: LB Nick Vigil has been declared out with left knee injury. #PITvsCIN— Cincinnati Bengals (@Bengals) October 14, 2018
Second quarter update:
The Steelers responded from the Bengals touchdown drive with a methodical drive of their own. Upon entering the red zone, defensive tackle Geno Atkins was called for a rare defensive holding that put the Steelers on the Bengals’ one-yard line. Running back James Conner punched in a one-yard touchdown run and Steelers’ kicker Chris Boswell tied the game 7-7 with an extra point.
After a few more failed drives, the Steelers found their rhythm by targeting tight end Vance McDonald multiple times. A terrific catch from wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster got the Steelers back to the Bengals’ one-yard line, where running back James Conner punched in another one-yard touchdown, increasing their lead to 14-7.
Thanks to a 47-yard kickoff return by Alex Erickson, the Bengals quickly responded. A five-play 44-yard drive lead by Andy Dalton finished with Tyler Boyd’s second touchdown reception of the game with 19 seconds left in the half. The Steelers kneeled upon getting the ball back and both teams are tied at 14-14.
First quarter update:
After both offenses gained minimal ground against each other, a lackluster punt from Steelers’ punter Jordan Berry gave the Bengals great field position for their second drive of the game, which ended with Tyler Boyd catching his first pass and target for a two-yard touchdown. A Randy Bullock extra point gave the Bengals a 7-0 lead.
The Bengals are looking to make a statement against their division rivals.
The Steelers are (2-2-1) coming off a win against the Falcons, and are looking to get over .500 for the first time this season. The Bengals are (4-1) and looking to show that they belong in the conversation of contenders.
Cincinnati got Joe Mixon back last week who ended up being pretty vital in the comeback win against the Dolphins. The second-year running back had over 100 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown. However, it was the defense who really stole the show. They only allowed 10 points (a punt return touchdown before halftie was the only other touchdown allowed), and the unit ended up scoring 14 points of their own through a pick-six from Michael Johnson and a Sam Hubbard fumble recovery for the final touchdown of the game.
One big change defensively was getting linebacker Vontaze Burfict back from suspension. He didn’t end up playing the most snaps of any linebacker, but you could feel his impact as he made several stops at the line of scrimmage that just weren’t being made in his absence.
The Bengals are not expected to have wide receiver John Ross back in this game after he tweaked his groin against the Falcons. Also missing are tight end Tyler Kroft and center Billy Price. The Bengals already put Tyler Eifert on IR, so the tight end position is dwindling. C.J. Uzomah will need to step up.
The Steelers looked more like themselves last week against the Falcons. They were all over quarterback Matt Ryan, and their quarterback Ben Roethlisberger got going. It was a pretty decisive win, but the Falcons defense has major issues of its own that the the Bengals exploited just a week before Pittsburgh.
Of course the Steelers are without running back Le’Veon Bell, who reportedly will rejoin the team during their bye week following this game. Although, there have also been rumors of the team looking to trade Bell for the right offer as it is doubtful that Bell will be re-signing with the team in free agency. That isn’t to say his replacement James Conner has done a poor job, but he has been streaky. He has two games where he has over 100 yards rushing and two touchdowns, but he also has two games where he has failed to reach 20 yards rushing.
It has been said a countless amount of times, but this is a prove it game for the Bengals. If they want to be taken seriously, they have to defeat one of their biggest demons in recent history.
Here is how to watch the Bengals host the Steelers:
Game: Cincinnati Bengals (4-1) vs Pittsburgh Steelers (2-2-1)
Date/Time: Oct. 14th, 2018 at 1:00 p.m. EST
Location: Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, OH
Streaming: Fubo TV
Series Leader: Steelers lead the series 60-35
Streak: The Steelers have won the past five games
Coaches vs. Opponent: Marvin Lewis: (8-22) vs. Mike Tomlin (17-5)
TV Broadcast: The game will air on CBS-TV. In the Bengals’ home region, it will be carried by WKRC-TV (Ch. 12) in Cincinnati, WHIO-TV (Ch. 7) in Dayton and on WKYT-TV (Ch. 27) in Lexington. Broadcasters are Ian Eagle (play-byplay), Dan Fouts (analyst) and Evan Washburn (sideline reporter).
Radio Broadcast: The game will air on the Bengals Radio Network, led by Cincinnati flagship stations WLW-AM (700), WCKY-AM (ESPN 1530; all sports) and WEBN-FM (102.7). Broadcasters are Dan Hoard (play-by-play) and Dave Lapham (analyst).
SB Nation Steelers site: Behind the Steel Curtain
Weather: Mid 80’s, mostly cloudy [NFL weather]
Odds: Bengals, -3 [Odds Shark]