Andy Dalton is very kind to be giving Pittsburgh a sporting chance by missing open receivers throughout the first half. The inaccuracy was especially bad in the first few Cincinnati drives, with Dalton overthrowing three wideouts open for first downs.
The Steelers opened scoring thanks to an impressive Antonio Brown punt return that got them 20 yards into Bengals territory. They did next to nothing with the ball from there, but that’s the nice thing about starting a possession at the edge of field goal range.
From there, the Steelers were building momentum. Roethlisberger hit David Paulson for a big gain into Cincy territory but he was stripped by Pacman as he was brought to the ground. Paulson was initially ruled down and Ben tried to the team to the line to get a play off but was overruled by the sideline because Todd Haley wanted to make substitutions.
Instead, the Bengals took over at their own 13. A couple plays later, Pittsburgh didn’t bother to cover Tyler Eifert running up the seam and this time Dalton actually obliged by throwing it to him. That play keyed a drive that ended with a Giovani Bernard touchdown run.
BJGE is averaging 5.4 YPC and Bernard is averaging 6.3 YPC. Yet somehow, the Bengals have only run the ball 8 times so far.
— Sean O'Donnell (@SeanODonnellNFL) September 17, 2013
The Steelers lack of blocking continues, as it will for the rest of the season. Nonetheless, they stumbled their way to a late tying touchdown following a huge pass play to Emmanuel Sanders. The Bengals sputtered in their two-minute drive to grab the lead before half.
It ended with a Hail Mary attempt with Mohamed Sanu allowed to get two hands on the ball, which he dropped because it would be out of place for excellence to be part of this half.