The Pittsburgh Steelers overcame two first-half turnovers, multiple dropped passes, and the absence of five key players, including four starters, to pull back to .500 and move into sole possession of second place in the AFC North with a 24-17 win over the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday night. Pittsburgh took advantage of a 41-yard return on the opening kickoff by rookie running back Chris Rainey to set up a 42-yard field goal by Shaun Suisham. The Bengals would respond with a 15-play, 80-yard drive that took over eight minutes off the clock and was punctuated with a five-yard run by backup running back Cedric Peerman. On their following possession, the Steelers were in position to put more points on the scoreboard, but quarterback Ben Roethisberger’s pass towards well-covered tight end Heath Miller was intercepted in the end zone by safety Chris Crocker. On their next possesion, Roethlisberger fumbled after being sacked by Bengals defensive linemen Robert Geathers and Devon Still, with Wallace Gilberry recovering at the Steelers’ eight-yard line. Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton connected with Pro Bowl receiver A.J. Green for an eight-yard touchdown on the following play to give Cincinnati a 14-3 lead. Green has now scored a touchdown in six consecutive games with a touchdown, but it would be the only pass he’d catch on the night as Ike Taylor blanketed him all night while the Steelers provided a safety over-the-top to keep the Bengals’ top offensive weapon in check. Pittsburgh chipped into the Bengals’ lead with a 47-yard field goal by Suisham with 3:07 to play in the first half and then with Roethlisberger hitting Miller for a nine-yard touchdown pass with 24 seconds remaining in the half. Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin made the curious decision to go for the two-point conversion early in the game, with Roethlisberger and Miller connecting to even the score at the break.
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Steelers overcome first-half mistakes, defeat Bengals 24-17 (Shutdown Corner)