During pregame warmups, it came out that Ben Roethlisberger has been dealing with a stomach ache today. That’s only fair given how much the Bengals suffered with illness throughout the week. Ben has retreated to the locker room a few times between possessions, though has yet to shit his pants, which is a shame for all of us.
The game started with two quick possessions that totaled one first down between them. The Bengals punted away after a three-and-out. Antonio Brown caught the ball, run to the right, reversed field and took it 71 yards for the game’s first score.
A few nice Jeremy Hill runs got Cincy just inside field goal range, only for Andy Dalton to throw an interception deep along the sideline to Brice McCain, who ran into his own end zone and was nearly tackled for a safety, though he brought it out. An Antonio Brown drop on the ensuing third down had the Steelers punting it back to the Bengals for great field position.
Pittsburgh stopped Cincy on the next three plays but Marvin Lewis opted to go for it on 4th and 3 and it paid off as Dalton hit Ben Tate for 14 yards, setting up a 17-yard catch and run by Giovani Bernard to tie the game at 7.
The punt return score helped to obscure the fact that the Steelers offense was struggling through the first quarter, which they closed out by having Maurkice Pouncey snap a ball at the feet of Ben Roethlisberger. That was recovered by Wallace Gilberry to give Cincinnati another short field. They turned that into a 39-yard field goal to go up 10-7.
Pittsburgh took control from there, in part due to another Dalton interception. Cris Collinsworth swears only one of those picks is his fault. Either way, it lead to a Pittsburgh touchdown on a 21-yard pass to Martavis Bryant. The Steelers added another field goal to take a two-score lead into half.