Pittsburgh Steelers (3-7) – Cincinnati Bengals (6-4): 30-37
After a cruel loss in the first week (and 3 losses in division), the Bengals had the opportunity to send a message against the struggling Steelers. If victory took a long time to emerge, it was Cincinnati that made the difference under the impetus of an irresistible offensive trio.
If Joe Burrow (24/39, 355 yards, 4 TD, 2 INT) was able to make the difference, he must leave the light to two targets: Tee Higgins (148 yards) and especially the amazing Samaje Perine (82 yards, 3 TD), who replaced Joe Mixon (62 yards) who was injured (concussion). The Bengals find the explosiveness of the end of last season, and are more than ever in the race for the playoffs.
Pittsburgh resisted for most of the game, but the attack and Kenny Pickett (25/42, 265 yards, 2 TD) cracked in the second act, failing to keep up. Mike Tomlin’s men are left behind for the playoffs, and will already start thinking about next season.
With the absence of Ja’Marr Chase, Joe Burrow needs to find new targets. In this first half it was the runners who fulfilled this role. Joe Mixon is electric, but it is Samaje Perine who unlocks the counter with a touchdown in reception after a lot of work from the line (3-10).
To answer him, the Steelers of Kenny Pickett also uses the runner, Najee Harris (116 yards, 2 TD) who confirms his return to form with an acrobatic touchdown (10-10). The two teams are not spectacular, but go blow for blow in a breathless division match.
Cincinnati does not let down, and Joe Burrow continues his demonstration. Tee Higgins is the next drive hero, with four receptions on the series. But it is indeed Perine, the man of this first act, who once again concludes in reception (10-17).
But this crazy match is not over, far from it. Kenny Pickett leads the charge, and George Pickens (83 yards, 1 TD) is at the reception to pick up the score (17-17). Cincinnati will not benefit from the last two minutes, Burrow even losing the ball after an interception from Levi Wallace. Pat Freiermuth takes advantage of this, and goes up the field to offer a field goal to his team. The Steelers are ahead at the break (20-17).
Pittsburgh runs out of steam, Cincinnati takes advantage
Upon returning from the locker room, the Bengals do not let go. Tee Higgins continues to dance, while Trenton Irwin (42 yards, 1 TD) concludes the beautiful drive (20-24). The Bengals control the game but play scare, Burrow giving the Steelers a second interception, this time to TJ Watt. Limited consequence, since Pittsburgh only scored a field goal, like the Bengals then (23-27).
It is then that the defenses wake up, and that the attacks multiply the useless faults. Samaje Perine finally put an end to the suspense at the end of the match with a third touchdown, synonymous with final victory (23-34). A field goal will conclude the game for Cincinnati, but it’s more anecdotal than anything else.
The honor will be except for Pittsburgh, who will take advantage of the relaxation of the opposing defense to score a touchdown by Najee Harris, which makes it possible to reduce the gap if not to offer the victory (30-37).