Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers NFL Score, Recap, News and Notes
Andrew’s Week 17 NFL Breakdown and Analysis
December 28, 2014
Finishing off the Week 17 schedule on “Sunday Night Football” we had a marquis matchup between the Bengals and the Steelers, with the winner taking the AFC North and a home playoff game. Cincinnati came into this one off a big win over the Broncos, while Pittsburgh took care of the Chiefs in Week 16. These two teams always play each other tough, no matter the record, and that’s exactly what happened here.
Let’s check out some of the notable players and stats from this game so we can figure out why things played out the way they did. Afterward we’ll look ahead to the playoffs to see what’s in store for both teams.
What Happened: The scoring started on a dynamic 71-yard punt return from Antonio Brown, who switched direction a couple of times on his way to the end zone. Late in the quarter, the Bengals were able to tie it up on a 17-yard Giovani Bernard TD catch from Andy Dalton for a 7-7 score after one.
In the second, Mike Nugent (39 yards) and Shaun Suisham (29 yards) exchanged field goals before a 21-yard Martavis Bryant TD catch from Ben Roethlisberger. Suisham would bang through a 25-yarder for a 20-10 Steelers lead at the half.
Neither team got on the board in the third, but the Bengals managed to post a 5-yard Jermaine Gresham catch for a TD early in the fourth, which got them to within three. A subsequent fumble, change of possession and a 63-yard Antonio Brown TD catch would seal the game for the Steelers 27-17.
Pittsburgh takes the AFC North once again, while the Bengals have to settle for a Wild Card berth.
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The Stars: Brown was the big star here, which really isn’t much of a surprise. He racked up seven receptions for 128 yards and a TD, while also notching 84 more with another score in the punt return game. Le’Veon Bell also had a nice game while he was in there, posting 100 yards from scrimmage.
On the other side, Jeremy Hill put up 110 yards in all, while A.J. Green led the way on eight grabs for 82 yards in the passing game.
The Goats: Each team had three turnovers--one fumble and two picks. Cincinnati’s fumble (Green) came at the absolute worst time, late in the game when the team was driving for a tying or go-ahead score. Dalton also missed on a few wide-open throws that would have extended drives that ended up stalling out.
Cincinnati lost despite holding the ball 34:58 to 25:02, which is more a testament to Pittsburgh’s big plays and special teams contributions than anything.
Injuries: The major concern here is Le’Veon Bell, obviously. He went down in the third after a low hit by a Cincinnati safety and favored his knee while timidly jogging to the sideline afterward. The initial word was a hyperextension of the knee, but we won’t know much before more tests come back.
Outlook: Both teams play this weekend. Pittsburgh hosts the Ravens Saturday night (8:15 PM ET on NBC) while the Bengals will go to Indianapolis to see the Colts on Sunday (1:05 PM ET on CBS).
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