Steelers continue mastery of Bengals

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Steelers continue mastery of Bengals

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Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell (26) gets past Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Carl Lawson (58) during the first half of an NFL football game in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Oct. 22, 2017. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

The Pittsburgh Steelers continued their dominance of the Cincinnati Bengals with a 29-14 victory Sunday at Heinz Field for their fifth consecutive win in the series and eighth in the last nine meetings.

After trading touchdowns to begin the game in a 14-14 track meet, Pittsburgh outscored the Bengals 15-0 the rest of the way while outgaining them 266 to 19.

The loss dropped Cincinnati to 2-4, 2.5 games behind the Steelers (5-2) in the AFC North Division.

The game featured two of the top defenses in NFL, but only Pittsburgh lived up to its ranking, holding the Bengals to a season-low 180 total yards.

Pittsburgh rolled up 420 yards, the most Cincinnati has allowed this season.

Cincinnati quarterback Andy Dalton hit Tyler Kroft for a 1-yard touchdown on fourth and goal to tie the game 14-14 with 7:12 left in the second quarter, but the next six drives resulted in 12 yards, one first down and two interceptions.

The Steelers scored on six of their first seven drives. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger threw first-half touchdown passes of 7 yards to Antonio Brown and 31 yards to JuJu Smith-Schuster before directing four consecutive drives that ended in field goals.

Pittsburgh kicker Chris Boswell kicked field goals of 22 and 24 yards in the final 1:50 of the second quarter to send the Steelers into the break leading 20-14.

Boswell added field goals of 41 and 49 yards to open the third quarter, both of which were set up by Dalton interceptions.

The Steelers punctuated the rout with a fake punt that resulted in a 43-yard pass from personal protector Robert Golden to Darius Heyward-Bey.

That led to another Boswell field goal, this time from 25 yards for the final points of the game with 5:14 remaining.

Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell carried 35 times for 134 yards and caught three passes for 58 yards, while Roethlisberger was 14 of 24 for 224 yards and two touchdowns for a passer rating of 117.4.

Dalton was 17 of 30 for 140 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions for a passer rating of 63.2.

The Steelers sacked Dalton four times. The Bengals failed to sack Roethisberger, snapping their run of 34 consecutive games with at least one, which was the longest active streak in the league.

Bengals rookie running back Joe Mixon had seven carries for 48 yards through the first 22:48 – including a career-long 25-yarder to set up the first touchdown, a 6-yard pass from Dalton to Brandon LaFell – but Mixon didn’t log another carry the rest of the game.

The Bengals return to action next Sunday at home against the Indianapolis Colts.

SUNDAY’S GAME

Colts at Bengals, WHIO-TV Ch. 7, 700, 1530, 102.7, 104.7

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