(October 23, 2005)
Pittsburgh scored 17 consecutive points in the third quarter, pounded the Bengals run defense for more than 200 yards and rolled to a 27-13 victory against the Bengals this afternoon at Paul Brown Stadium.
The 221 rushing yards were the most allowed by the Bengals since Baltimore had 254 in Game 3 of 2004.
The Bengals dropped to 5-2. The Steelers are 4-2.
The outcome disappointed a majority-Bengals crowd of 66,104, a new Bengals franchise record. The previous record was 65,806 on Monday night last season against Denver.
The Bengals scored their only touchdown inside the two-minute warning in the fourth quarter. Quarterback Carson Palmer ran four yards for the score.
Pittsburgh intercepted Palmer twice in the third quarter. The first interception, by safety Chris Hope, snapped Palmer’s streak of 169 consecutive passes without an interception. He finished with a 53.8 rating.
Palmer also had his streak of nine consecutive games with 100.0-plus passer ratings snapped.
After a Jeff Reed field goal gave the Steelers a 10-6 lead, Palmer threw his second interception, a pass tipped by defensive end Kimo von Oelhoffenand caught by fellow end Aaron Smith.
Pittsburgh tailback Willie Parker covered the next 47 yards on three carries. His third run, off right tackle, went the final 37 yards for a touchdown. Linebacker Odell Thurman and safety Ifeanyi Ohalete missed tackles on the run.
At that point, the Steelers had rushed for 124 yards on 20 carries, a 6.4-yard average.
The Steelers scored another touchdown on the final play of the third quarter on a four-yard pass from Ben Roethlisberger to Hines Ward.
In the first half, the Bengals had the ball three times at the Steelers 21-yard line or inside, but the Bengals scored just six points.
The Bengals had a chance to take an early lead on their first possession but had more red-zone problems.
An apparent 16-yard touchdown pass to Chad Johnson was challenged by Steelers coach Bill Cowher. The touchdown was overturned because Johnson’s arm landed out of bounds, though he had a foot in.
On a second and eight from the Steelers 12, rookie wide receiver Chris Henry dropped a Palmer pass in the end zone. After another incompletion, Shayne Graham missed a field goal attempt wide left from 30 yards.
The Bengals forced a three-and-out possession by the Steelers offense. Then the Bengals went on another long drive, this one resulting in points.
Wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh, coming back after missing two games with a right hand injury, caught three passes for 46 yards on the drive. But the Bengals again failed to score a touchdown in the red zone. Palmer threw two incomplete passes before Graham was good on a 26-yard field goal.
In the first quarter, the Bengals had the ball for 10:50, but they fell behind early in the second quarter.
Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger threw two yards for the touchdown to tight end Heath Miller. Bengals-killer Jerome Bettis made his game debut on the drive and ran three times for 18 yards. He had just 21 attempts for 58 yards coming in. The touchdown was Roethlisberger’s eighth of the season against no interceptions.
The Steelers had to drive just 60 yards. Graham’s kickoff after the field goal rolled out of bounds, and the Steelers were given the ball at the 40-yard line, by rule.
The Bengals pulled within 7-6 when Graham made a 39-yard field goal with less than one minute remaining in the half.