Pittsburgh’s offensive woes once again cost them as they fell to the Cincinnati Bengals 27-17. Pittsburgh offense laid an egg in the first half and turnovers allowed the Bengals to jump out to a 17-0 lead going into halftime.
The game started out rough for Pittsburgh as quarterback Ben Roethliserger had the worst half of his career, missing easy targets and throwing an interception.
The writing on the wall began when Roethlisberger fumbled to set the Bengals up in great position. Cincinnati was able to convert a field goal to take the early lead.
A few drives later, Juju Smith-Schuster got rocked on a drag route and fumbled to set the Bengals up in great field position. Cincinnati capitalized as Giovanni Bernard punched the rock in from four yards out.
The Steelers disastrous half did not end there. The next drive Roethlisberger threw a pick which once again led to Cincinnati points. Bengals third string quarterback Ryan Finley found Bernard for a score to cement the 17-0 halftime lead.
However, Pittsburgh did not roll over. After forcing a three-and-out to open the half, Roethlisberger got some of his mojo back. A four play, 67 yard touchdown drive ending with a Diontae Johnson touchdown brought the game within 10.
After another defensive stop, the Steelers offense once again responded. However, this time they could only reduce the deficit by three.
The Bengals offense then had a draining, nine play, 80 yard drive to extend their lead to 14 and put a dagger in Pittsburgh’s comeback hopes. Even though the Steelers would end up scoring one more time, it would not be enough, as a fourth down stop and subsequent field goal at the end of the game finished Pittsburgh off.
The Steelers fall to 11-3, and have some soul searching to do. One more win puts the division away, but things look bleak in the Steel City right now.
Next week Pittsburgh returns home to face the Indianapolis Colts at 1:00 p.m. est.