The Pittsburgh Steelers improved to 9-0 after thrashing number one overall pick Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals 36-10 in Pittsburgh on Sunday.
Pittsburgh once again struggled in the run game as they finished the contest with only 44 yards on the ground. However, Ben Roethlisberger was able to lead the Steelers with his best performance of the season. Roethlisberger tossed four touchdowns for 333 yards and no interceptions.
The game started out quick for Pittsburgh, as on their first punt of the game Ola Adeniyi forced a fumble on Bengals returner Alex Erickson to set the Steelers up in good field position. Pittsburgh was only able to score three points from the turnover though.
Throughout the game, Cincinnati could not get their offense going. The Bengals went 0-13 on third downs as the Steelers defense excelled in every aspect of the game. The only time the Bengals were able to sustain a drive was when there was miscommunication in the Pittsburgh secondary.
On the other hand, as the game continued the Pittsburgh offense started to roll. Near the end of the first quarter Roethlisberger connected on a deep ball to Diontae Johnson for 46 yards to kick-start the slow starting offense. Two plays later Roethlisberger once again connected with Johnson for a touchdown.
Cincinnati answered a couple drives later after Burrow found Tee Higgins on a fourth in goal. That would be the only semblance of an offense Cincinnati had all game, as the Steelers defense had Burrow looking like a rookie for one of the first times all season.
The Steelers responded right away, as Roethlisberger led his team down the field en route to his second touchdown pass of the game. Roethlisberger faced a heavy blitz, which he ducked out of in vintage Big Ben style, then threw a strike to Juju Smith-Schuster in the back of the end-zone to extend the Steelers lead 19-7.
Pittsburgh added a field goal at the end of the half, but really blew the doors off the Bengals in the third quarter.
Roethlisberger once again took control of the offense as he led them down the field for his third touchdown pass of the game. Roethlisbeger fired a strike at the goal line for rookie Chase Claypool to extend the Steelers lead 29-7.
Pittsburgh was not finished though, as in the fourth quarter Roethlisberger and co. added one more touchdown to the beat down. Roethisberger once again looked for the rookie Claypool on a slant route near the goal line which Claypool caught and fought through some traffic to extend the lead to 36-7.
The Bengals were able to add three more points towards the end of the game as a fake punt caught the Steelers off guard and got the Bengals in field goal range.
Pittsburgh blew out their divisional foes, and did it without a running attack. There are a lot of positives to take from the blowout and also some learning points. For now, Pittsburgh secured a winning season as they are 9-0 and have a three game lead in the AFC North.
Next week, Pittsburgh travels to Jacksonville to take on the Jaguars at 1:00 p.m.
The Bengals try to right the ship next week when they travel to Washington to take on the Football Team at 1:00 p.m.