Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers 11/1/15 NFL Score, Recap, News and Notes
Final Score: Bengals 16, Steelers 10
November 1, 2015
Mixed in with the Week 8 Sunday schedule, we had an interesting AFC North matchup between the Bengals and the Steelers. Cincinnati was fresh after coming off a bye, while Pittsburgh fell to the Chiefs in Week 7. Games between these teams always seem to be intense and hard-hitting; this one was no different.
Let’s check out some of the key stats and players from the game so that we can figure out why things played out the way they did. Afterward, we’ll look ahead to Week 9 to see what’s in store for both teams.
What Happened: In the first quarter, the Steelers didn’t waste a whole lot of time getting on the board. Ben Roethlisberger finished off a nice drive with a 1-yard TD hookup with Antonio Brown. The Bengals would respond with a field goal by Mike Nugent from 44 yards out. He would add another three points from 45 a short time later. After some hard hits, injuries and crazy plays on both sides, that’s the way the score would stay at halftime. Pittsburgh went into the break with a 7-6 lead, carrying the offensive edge 131 yards to 106 yards in a defense-heavy battle.
In the third, the Steelers got on the board again with a 32-yard field goal. Later on, the Bengals kicked one of their own to pull within a point, but the play was called back due to a false start. The ensuing attempt was blocked, and the score remained 10-6 at the end of the third.
The fourth quarter featured a controversial no-call on an illegal contact play on A.J. Green in the end zone. On the next play, Antwon Blake picked off Andy Dalton on a would-be touchdown and returned it 42 yards.
A little later in the quarter, Dalton and Roethlisberger traded interceptions in short order, and Cincy was set up in Steelers territory. They’d drive it down to the red zone and score on a Dalton-Green hookup for a 13-10 lead.
Roethlisberger tossed another interception on the first play of Pittsburgh’s next drive, putting a damper on a comeback attempt. Nugent would bang through a 43-yarder to extend the lead to 16-10.
Pittsburgh had one last chance to eke out a win on their final drive but couldn’t score. The Bengals get a tough road win here and improve to 7-0 for the first time in franchise history.
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The Stars: Reggie Nelson’s two interceptions were a key stat in this game; he gets top star honors. A.J. Green also put up a nice line on 11 catches for 118 yards and a score. Nugent deserves mention as well, with his three made field goals.
On the other side, Heath Miller led the Steelers with 10 grabs for 105 yards.
The Goats: Big Ben showed some rust in his return, tossing three interceptions on 28-of-45 passing. The offense as a whole seemed to deflate a bit with Le’Veon Bell’s injury.
The Bengals had two huge miscues on snaps in this game that crippled their offense--the first took them out of field goal range and the other led to Dalton’s second pick.
This was, as expected, a chippy game. The teams each had 10 penalties for a total of 185 yards.
Injuries: Lots of injury notes here, as expected. In the second quarter, the injuries started piling up, beginning with Steelers RB Le’Veon Bell, who bent his leg awkwardly while being tackled and had to be carted off with a right knee issue. This is devastating for the Steelers offense, but the good news is that DeAngelo Williams can step in without a whole lot of difference.
A short time later, Bengals WR Marvin Jones was absolutely leveled on a vicious hit but was able to walk off.
LB Rey Maualuga left the game with a calf injury in the first quarter. Andre Smith was hurt on the Blake interception but walked off eventually. Carlos Dunlap also sustained a shoulder injury. RB Jeremy Hill limped off late in the fourth with what appeared to be a left leg injury. He came back a little while later.
On the next play, Mike Mitchell was slow to get up but got off the field.
Outlook: Looking ahead to Week 9, the Bengals have a quick turnaround at home against the Browns on “Thursday Night Football” (November 5; 8:25 PM ET on NFL Network). The Steelers will host the incoming Raiders that Sunday (November 8; 1:00 PM ET: on CBS).
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