The Pittsburgh Steelers overcame injuries, a sloppy first half, and penalties on special teams to beat the Cincinnati Bengals 24-17 Sunday night at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati.
The win was the first of the season for the Steelers on the road as they rushed for a season high 167 yards in the win with running back Jonathan Dwyer leading the way with 122 yards in his first career start.
Dwyer was forced into action because both Rashard Mendenhall and Isaac Redman were sidelined with injuries suffered in the loss to the Tennessee Titans a week ago Thursday.
Dwyer ran behind a patch worked offensive line that included Doug Legursky at center and rookie Mike Adams at right tackle, as starters Maurkice Pouncey and Marcus Gilbert were also forced to miss the game due to injuries. The entire Steelers offensive line a great job of providing running lanes and the former sixth-round draft pick out of Georgia Tech did the rest.
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger did his part in the win as he was 27-of-37 on the night for 278 yards with 1 touchdown to tight end Heath Miller, who caught 6 balls for 53 yards in the win.
Wide receiver Antonio Brown led the way with 7 catches for 96 yards and the Steelers offense converted 10-of-16 first downs on the night.
The Steelers defense managed to hold a fourth quarter lead this week for a change and the performance included them holding Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green to just one catch on the night for 8 yards. The lone catch by the star receiver was for a touchdown, though, and came just one play after Roethlisberger was strip-sacked deep in his own end midway through the second quarter.
Green was targeted 6 times in total on the night, but cornerback Ike Taylor managed to rebound from a slow start to the season to hold him to his lone scoring catch.
Although the Steelers did allow 50 yards rushing on 12 carries in the first half, they would go on to allow just 30 more after halftime and Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton was held to just 105 yards passing on 28 attempts on the night.
Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau broke out the dime defense against the Bengals and it included second-year cornerback Curtis Brown seeing his first career snaps on defense.
Linebacker LaMarr Woodley, who missed the game against the Titans with a strained hamstring, returned to action Sunday night and picked off a poorly thrown Dalton pass with 1:30 left before halftime that allowed the Steelers offense to salvage a tie heading into intermission after a poor start that included Roethlisberger throwing an interception with 10:25 left in the half.
The Bengals took a 17-14 lead on their first drive of the second half, but after that it was all Steelers. Kicker Shaun Suisham added a 42-yard field goal to answer the Bengals opening half score and rookie running back Chris Rainey scored his first career touchdown from 11 yards out with 14:22 left in the game to put the Steelers ahead for good.
The win over the Bengals now puts the Steelers at 3-3 on the season and they will now get ready to host the Washington Redskins next Sunday at Heinz Field.