Party like it’s 2009, or 1990? Depends on how you want to look at it.
The Bengals are streaking and sweeping the Steelers again. Two of their seven wins this season have come against their hated rival, and plenty of great moments have come with them. The team may not be able to celebrate these games 24 hours after the final snap, but that doesn’t stop Bengals fans from looking back at the best plays now that it’s all said and done.
Here are our picks for the top six plays from the 2021 Bengals’ sweeping the Steelers. We were gonna stick with five, but six seems to be an important number for Pittsburgh for some reason.
6. Joe Mixon runs for career-best
It was evident early in Sunday’s game that Mixon was going for over 100 yards, the question was how high the end total would be. He clinched a career-high for rushing yards thanks to this 32-yard scamper thanks to a fantastic cutback against James Pierre and downfield block from Ja’Marr Chase. And look at Joe Burrow sprinting close behind! This won’t be the last time Pierre is featured in this countdown.
5. Logan Wilson’s one-handed interception
It wasn’t long ago when Wilson was averaging nearly one interception per games played this season. His second interception of the year came against Big Ben as the Bengals brought pressure and forced a throw under duress. Wilson lunged backwards and hauled in the errant pass with one hand.
4. Tee Higgins’ mossing of a touchdown
There’s our friend Pierre again! While the Steelers were so concerned with Chase beating them deep, they left Tee Higgins alone in single coverage enough for the second-year receiver to have his best game of the season. His longest reception ended with him climbing the ladder and coming down with his third score of the season. Just like this, the rout was on.
3. Joe Burrow boogies past Minkah Fitzpatrick
Burrow had a run in Pittsburgh that showed us he was fully confident scrambling with his knee. This run only bolstered that belief for Cincinnati. After evading pressure with a spin out of the pocket, Burrow chose to go for the end zone instead of ducking out of bounds. His man to beat was the fearful Minkah Fitzpatrick, and in Burrow’s own words, he had a “little boogie” to get past him. I don’t think that’s what he said when celebrating the score, though.
2. Ja’Marr Chase burns the rivalry wide open
The Baltimore Ravens were warned with this play. Chase is here to help shift the power in the division. Instead of heading into the half tied up or taking a field goal, the Bengals tested the Steelers’ secondary with their new vertical weapon. Chase burned—you guessed it—Pierre for his third touchdown of the young season with an impressive hands catch in the end zone. The Bengals never looked back that day after the score.
1. Mike Hilton’s first-ever pick-six
Hilton himself said after the game that this felt like the changing of the guard, and this play represents that better than any other. The former Steeler took a weak-armed pass from his former quarterback to the house to give the Bengals 30 points vs. the Steelers for the first time since 2005. It was also the first defensive touchdown the Bengals scored since the 2018 season finale, when Marvin Lewis coached his last game against none other than the Steelers.
Tyler Boyd’s first touchdown in Pittsburgh
This score set the tone in the Week 3 matchup. Boyd had taken a hard hit out of bounds on the previous play, and instead of retaliating after the whistle, he waited to respond on the ensuing play. Boyd bounced off would be tacklers on his way to scoring his first touchdown in Heinz Field since his days at Pitt.
Eli Apple’s near pick-six
He’s read every single one of your tweets. In the last two games, Apple has matched his interception total from his previous four seasons. After reading Roethlisberger’s eyes the whole way, he nearly took this turnover to the house thanks to some great blocking from his teammates. Apple’s recent play has alleviated concerns about his ability to be relied on in single coverage.
Did we miss a play? Comment below your favorite!