Steelers jump on Bengals early in 30-20 win

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 15, 2013 at 11:48 pm •  Published: December 15, 2013
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PITTSBURGH (AP) — For all their precocious talent, the Cincinnati Bengals are still trying to figure out this "winning-in-December-and-beyond" thing.

The Pittsburgh Steelers provided another important lesson along the way for the burgeoning AFC North power: Be ready or be humbled.

Antonio Brown caught a touchdown pass and returned a punt for a score in a 64-second span in the first quarter and the Steelers overpowered the Bengals 30-20 on Sunday night.

Shaun Suisham added three field goals for the Steelers (6-8), who built a 24-point lead and hardly looked like a team playing out the string.

"It's always great when you dictate the game and play ahead and not play catch up," Brown said.

The victory kept Pittsburgh's ever-so faint postseason hopes alive even if simply avoiding the franchise's first losing season in a decade is a considerably more attainable goal.

"We're just trying to show people the guys on this team, the coaches, they still want to play and they have a lot of fight left in them," Steelers safety Ryan Clark said.

Ben Roethlisberger completed 20 of 25 passes for 191 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Le'Veon Bell added 117 yards of total offense to help the Steelers snap a two-game losing streak.

Andy Dalton completed 25 of 44 for 230 yards and two second-half touchdowns, but Cincinnati (9-5) never recovered after getting staggered early at frigid Heinz Field.

"We didn't make anything happen," Cincinnati coach Marvin Lewis said. "We didn't make any plays, create any opportunities."

Looking to move closer to a third straight playoff berth and perhaps grab the inside track on the No. 2 seed in the AFC, the Bengals were undone by a series of miscues on special teams and an offense that didn't get going until it was much too late.

"It's tough, for sure, because we had everything in front of us," Cincinnati wide receiver A.J. Green said. "We could have had ourselves set up in a great position if we could have come out here and won today. But, at least we have these last two games at home, and with the way we play at home I feel confident that we're going to win them back in Cincinnati."

Bell scored two plays after Cincinnati punter Kevin Huber dropped a snap while standing near the goal line after the Bengals' first possession. Pittsburgh's Will Allen dropped Huber at the 1 and Bell bulled into the end zone on second down for his sixth touchdown of the season.

Cincinnati had more issues on the ensuing kickoff.

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