November 9, 2010 by staff
Steelers Bengals, (AFP) – Pittsburgh defender James Harrison broke up a fourth-down pass in the final seconds and the Steelers held off a Cincinnati rally for a 27-21 NFL victory over the Bengals.
The Steelers improved to 6-2, matching Baltimore for a share of the AFC North division lead, while Cincinnati fell to 2-6, four games off the divisional pace at the halfway mark of their American football campaign.
The Steelers had never lost in a club history dating to 1933 when they led by 20 or more points at any point in a game, but the Bengals pushed them to the edge to keep that perfection intact.
“We almost gave it away but the defense held strong,” Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said. “I got a little nervous at the end but the defense held.”
Pittsburgh’s Antwaan Randle El flipped a 39-yard touchdown pass to Mike Wallace on the first play of the fourth quarter to give the Steelers a 27-7 lead over a Cincinnati squad who had struggled most of night.
Carson Palmer connected with Terrell Owens on a 27-yard touchdown pass to trim the deficit to 27-14. It was the 151st touchdown reception of Owens’ career, trailing only Jerry Rice and Randy Moss on the all-time NFL list.
On the next Cincinnati possession, a pass interference call against Pittsburgh’s Ike Taylor, one of three key penalties against the Steelers in the drive, gave the Bengals the ball at the Steeler 1-yard line.
Two plays later, Cedric Benson scored on a 1-yard run to pull the Bengals within 27-21.
Pittsburgh’s Jeff Reed was wide left on a 46-yard field goal kick with 3:59 to play, giving the Bengals the ball and 64 yards to march for a go-ahead touchdown.
Owens, who caught 10 passes for 141 yards and two touchdowns, made a 20-yard catch to put the Bengals at the Pittsburgh 17-yard line with 61 seconds remaining.
But a 10-yard holding penalty backed up Cincinnati and two incompletions plus a 15-yard catch by Chad Ochocinco set up a critical fourth-down play.
Harrison broke up a Palmer pass to Jordan Shipley and the Steelers ran out the clock, dooming the Bengals to their fifth loss in a row.
The Steelers seized a 10-0 lead with help from a fumbled kickoff return that set up Rashard Mendenhall’s one-yard touchdown after only two minutes and a blocked punt that led to Reed’s 25-yard field goal.
Cincinnati answered with a 19-yard touchdown pass from Palmer to Owens but Pittsburgh responded with an 8-yard touchdown pass from Roethlisberger to Hines Ward.
After the Bengals missed a field goal attempt, Reed matched his career-long field goal with a 53-yarder five seconds before half-time to give the Steelers a 20-7 edge at the break.
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