The Steelers took the game opening drive into Bengals’ territory, but Todd Haley called a sweep on a 3rd and 4 with zone blocking support at the point where Pittsburgh might have moved into field goal range. That, naturally, didn’t work and the Steelers were punting the ball away. The ensuing Bengals drive didn’t fare much better, as they were punting deep in their own territory.
Except the snap on the punt went wildly to the left. Kevin Huber dropped it and was promptly tackled in the end zone. It was initially ruled a safety but Ed Hochuli quickly overruled it and determined that the Steelers took over at the 1. Steelers fans booed as he announced it because they’re Steelers fans. Either way, Le’Veon Bell took it into the end zone two plays later for the game’s first score.
Bengals appeared to have a nice return on the following kickoff but their returner signaled fair catch prior to receiving it, backing the Bengals up inside their own 10. After a quick stop, Pittsburgh took over near midfield and got a touchdown after the Steelers converted a 4th and 4 on the edge of field goal range. That drive ended with a touchdown pass to Antonio Brown.
Brown added a second touchdown on a punt return to put Pittsburgh up 21-0 before the end of the first quarter. On the play, punter Kevin Huber had his jaw broken by a block. The Bengals got a long return of their own to set up a Gio Bernard touchdown. Other than that, it’s been all Steelers as they take a 27-7 lead to the break.