Steelers knock off Bengals to keep AFC North in play

Getty Images

The Bengals would have claimed the AFC North title with a victory over the Steelers on Sunday, but things remain very much in doubt at the close of business at Paul Brown Stadium.

The Steelers won 33-20 to close the gap between the teams to two games with three to play. That’s still a good-sized lead, but the Bengals probably won’t feel too comfortable about their situation until they have some word on how long quarterback Andy Dalton is going to be out of the lineup.

Dalton left the game with a right thumb injury after throwing an interception in the first quarter and was ruled out after a brief period when he was being considered questionable by the team. Coach Marvin Lewis said after the game that Dalton will miss next week’s game in Santa Clara against the 49ers.

AJ McCarron had some good moments in relief, including a 66-yard touchdown to A.J. Green, but also threw an interception early in the third quarter that William Gay took back for a touchdown. Gay’s celebration of that score, the fifth of his career, was one of the more extensive and long-lasting in recent memory, drawing a flag that probably won’t bother Mike Tomlin given the result and his response to Antonio Brown’s similar penalty last week.

McCarron would throw a second, less celebrated pick later in the game after a Ben Roethlisberger provided a short burst of hope about a Bengals comeback. That spark was snuffed out for good by DeAngelo Williams’s second touchdown of the afternoon and the Bengals are left to wonder about how their offense, which also lost Tyler Eifert to a concussion, will respond should Dalton be out for an extended period of time.

Their defense did a good job keeping the Steelers out of the end zone for most of the day. Roethlisberger was 30-of-39 for 282 yards on a day when he was content to keep things simple and rarely uncork deep throws. That led to four field goals, but aggressiveness wasn’t a big need once they built their lead in the first half of the game. That lead led to a win that gives a great boost to the playoff chances in Pittsburgh and a lot more nerves in Cincinnati than there were just a few hours ago.

63 responses to “Steelers knock off Bengals to keep AFC North in play

  1. therealcoltmccoy says: Nov 18, 2015 1:48 PM
    Doesn’t matter, Bengals are THE team to beat in the AFC this year. Super bowl for sure. Book it.
    ********************************************
    It’s booked. 🙂

  2. Burfict is easily the dirtiest player in the league. Him and Pacman are made for each other. I fear for the safety of others if they are ever out on the town together.

  3. The Bengals never never ever win big games that’s why,,,,,Waite for it ,,,,,,,Waite for it ,,,,,THATS WHY THEIR THE BENGALS !

  4. ” Dalton left the game with a right thumb injury after throwing an interception in the first quarter and was ruled out after a brief period when he was being considered questionable by the team.”

    Instead of just folding, slowly and predictably over the course of a big, important pivotal game per usual, the red water pistol decide to throw in the towel early today.

  5. ajgreenhof
    Dec 13, 2015, 12:29 PM EST
    The Steelers and their fans need to get their bag of excuses ready.

    The refs hate the Steelers

    The Bengals are dirty

    Tomlin forgot to wear his lucky underwear

    You guys are full of them so that last one wouldn’t surprise me
    ——————
    I guess Tomlin remembered his lucky underwear. Good thing we didn’t have to use that as an excuse!! Phew!

  6. Congrats Steelers!
    Had this one circled all week for some good old fashioned December Division Discordance, damned shame Dalton was hurt, took a lot of fun out of it. Hope he heels fast and fully, the games are always better when the best players for every team are out there.

  7. joetoronto says:
    Dec 13, 2015 4:32 PM
    therealcoltmccoy says: Nov 18, 2015 1:48 PM
    Doesn’t matter, Bengals are THE team to beat in the AFC this year. Super bowl for sure. Book it.
    ********************************************
    It’s booked. 🙂
    ____________________

    NFC guy so no dog in the fight but that is some sorry smack right there

  8. You’ll be standing by those words for a very long time no matter how good the bengals are during regular season they can’t win in the playoffs the only championships they win are division championships so enjoy because the team to beat usaully get best their first game in the playoffs

  9. The Steelers won this game before it started. Hats off to the better team, for today at the very least.

    Objectively speaking, the Steelers are a much better team now. Hopefully, Dalton is back in time for an inevitable rematch in the playoffs.

  10. Dr Rustbelt is hiding because the Steelers DESTROYED the et

    Am I overcompensating Dr Rusty.

    Percy AtkinsDiet, I guess karma did catch up with your dirty team. Burfict should be kicked out of the league…..cheap shot fool.

  11. A backup qb with zero reps in practice walks on the field and puts up 20 on the stealers without one of their best receivers. Yeah, keep chirping Steeler fans.

  12. I thought McCarran actually played fairly well, but both interceptions resulted in Steelers tds. You can’t do that and win. Give him a week of honest preparation and he might do better than people think, especially considering he’s got great wrs even with Eifert out. All those injuries just suck though and I hate to see it.

    Steelers get nothing free though, next week it’s Denver, followed by the Ravens and Browns. They have to win out and that still might not be enough. The secondary is still a sieve. The offense still had some bad moments too but I like what they’ve got going on, and I like their chances! I can’t wait until next week 😀

    Go Steelers!

  13. Division is not really in play. At minimum, Bengals still win the division with a win over SF or DEN with a PIT loss – or a win over Baltimore the last week at home even if PIT wins out. Win at DEN will be tough, but 12-4 still realistic, even with McCarron starting a few games. First week bye may be in jeopardy, but division title and playoff spot are not.

  14. Absolutely, Bungals have some dirty players, officials missed some plays and once again Steelers watch the fan base hit the escalators.

  15. ” Dalton left the game with a right thumb injury after throwing an interception in the first quarter and was ruled out after a brief period when he was being considered questionable by the team.”

    Instead of just folding, slowly and predictably over the course of a big, important pivotal game per usual, the red water pistol decide to throw in the towel early today.

    13 8
    _____________________________
    Next week will be the first start dalton misses
    can you say that for rothlesburger

  16. Those PIT fans criticizing Burfict’s dirty hits–on a few plays, justifiably–seem to be turning a blind eye to the fact that the vast majority of hits made by the Steelers were aimed at either the Bengals’s head or the knees. Neither team should be proud of this game.

  17. No one in the AFC gets by Denver. They’ll be the #1 seed, hosting all playoff games at Mile High with a week off for a bye.
    With that defense, at home and a bye? Good luck.

  18. Paging Dr. Crust Belt.

    Paging Dr. Crust Belt.

    Like I told you Bungals fans, the blood would be spilled by the Bungals. And as usual, your AFC North masters would show up when it counted.

    The Steelers simply rule you.

    You can put away those AFC North champs hats and t-shirts now.

  19. I love the Steelers but the AFC North is in play in name only.

    All the Bengals need to do is win in week 17 vs the Ravens to clinch (would be 5-1 in the division to the Steelers 4-2).

    That being said the Steelers are primed to be the scariest 6 seed since the 2010 Packers.

    And the Steelers do get a playoff spot if they win out (Win a tiebreaker vs NYJ at 11-5 with same conference record and a better record vs Common opponents)

  20. Whoarethey? TheyaretheBungals……and it’s not Jan. Yet. A lot of dry throats in Cincinnati . Every team has injuries….the best overcome…time will tell.

  21. Hey Steelers fans, Bengals already beat you in your house this year so just stop with the “owning the Bengals” bs. And the Steelers still aren’t in the playoffs. Get over yourselves.

  22. Paging the Bengalguy

    Paging BonnieBengal

    Paging Percy AtkinsDiet

    Paging Dr Rustbelt

    Why are you big mouths hiding? Come out and take it like a man/lady and not a baby. It’s ok it’s not Jan yet.

  23. The Bungles and Andy Dalton are frauds………without big bens 3 picks last game we sweep u AGAIN. Bring on the playoffs we will whup u again.. The steelers have owned you for 30 yrs and that wont change.

  24. therealcoltmccoy
    Writes
    Dec 13, 2015, 1:35 PM PST
    I stand by my words. They are still the team to beat. Steelers are frauds.

    Obviously you didn’t see the whole game to make a statement like that ,Cincy got pounded by a way better team ,who the fraud !maybe your little red Ryder ,so shut your mouth

  25. Love it the Bungals once again looked like the Village Idiots. Weak, soft and Dalton in injury prone! You boys can forget about the playoffs for another year. Looks like the Red Ryder will miss at least four games.

    Dey bottom feeders!

  26. Maybe if Burfict didnt try to take out everyone’s knee on every play, someone might shake his hand after the game is over.

  27. Wow…looks like the stillers are a lock for the playoffs…well, I must have missed that memo. We’ll see, and I for one WANT the stillers back in Cincy for the playoffs and additionally, I don’t care if we do it with Dalton or McCarron.

    You need to understand that McCarron had no reps with the first team, he came in cold against that vaunted Stiller D…which we all know can be thrown over (he did it) with ease.

    And PLEASE save your dirty player comments…your team is the dirtiest in football and has been for a long time. Lets do it again and see if Brown survives…he seemed to go quiet late and Big Ben didnt have a TD pass without the two picks (one a pick six) the stillers don’t have this easy win…

    I WANT IT TO HAPPEN…come on back to Cincy in January@!!!

  28. Well, let’s just see if the Squelers can actually make it to the playoffs. Right now they’re out and the schedule doesn’t favor them. Lose next week and you’ll be home watching the Bengals (north champs) in the playoffs. AFC is soft. Bengals have as good a chance as the Pats and Broncos to make the SB. They Squelers? Not so much.

  29. The Steelers can actually lose a game and still make the playoffs. Their main rival the Jets has to play New England. So dream on Bungles fans.

  30. Bengals beat Baltimore and they win the division. Or… Bengals beat Denver and they win the division. Or…Steelers lose to Denver, Bengals win the division. Steelers lose to Baltimore, Bengals win the division. Steelers lose to Browns, Bengals win the division.

    Only question I have is if Bengals only beat SF and Pittsburgh win out then tiebreaker goes to common opponents as conference, division, and overall records will be tied as will head to head.

    Steelers lost to KC and Seattle but beat Arizona and Denver if they win out. Cincinnati beat KC and Seattle yet lose to Arizona and Denver if they only beat SF her out. Next tie breaker is strength of victory. I don’t know who that goes to.

    But the scenarios fare a lot better for Cincinnati as far as the division goes.

  31. Refs ignoring the dirties player in the NFL, Burfict, doing what dirty players do all day today. Well, karma is the sweetest revenge:

    ESPN’s Bob Holtzman reports Andy Dalton’s broken throwing thumb is “likely season ending.”

    Bungals can’t win even when the NFLRA is doing all it can to help!!! The Red Bee Bee gun is just another NFL flunkie & this loser organization has earned another year of watching other teams in the Super Bowl!!!

  32. That play Dalton did where he got picked off and injured his thumb left me shaking his head. What was he thinking? This guy and team looked like world beaters for the first eight or so games and now they look in typical one and done form.

  33. @ icanthelpitimabengalsfan says:
    Dec 13, 2015 6:03 PM

    I for one WANT the stillers back in Cincy for the playoffs and additionally, I don’t care if we do it with Dalton or McCarron.

    I WANT IT TO HAPPEN…come on back to Cincy in January@!!!
    ________________________________

    It’s going to be hilarious if Cincy loses the next 3 while the Steelers win out…would love to see your concession speech for your dirty team when the Steelers take the division & the Jets & KC take the wild card spots :o)

  34. All the Steelers’ fans are talking smack but the NFL playoff picture names only the Chiefs and Jets as Wildcards. Wha happened? LOL.

  35. I just hope the Steelers don’t let their guard down now. It was a huge road win against a division opponent they already lost to earlier in the season, so it was a big game they absolutely needed to win. But the fact is they’re still on the outside looking in, and can’t afford to savor this victory. Strap ’em up and get ready for next week!

    Congrats to the backup Cincy QB who actually looked pretty darn good.

  36. I thought Tuitt playing the second match-up would be the difference in this game, but I never imagined it would happen they way it did!
    I agree with Clash on AJM. He has a nice arm and a week of reps may make a world of difference. Looking forward to the rematch.
    I’m not surprised Tebow troll is up so early. He must be Sleepless from Seattle. LOL or Cheers or whatever trolls say these days.

  37. McCarron played well against our pitiful secondary because well, every quarterback does. If Tomlin continues to ignore the fact that Antwon Blake (who missed a pass defend and subsequent tackle allowing a TD directly in front of him yesterday) is the consistently worst defensive back in the NFL, our offense has no choice but to score four or more touchdowns every game just to keep pace. If PIT does not draft at least two DB’s next year, they get what they deserve.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.