PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – On a rainy and cold day in Pittsburgh, the offense wasn’t the story.
Pittsburgh’s defense returned two interceptions for touchdowns, as the Steelers improved to 10-3 with a 23-7 win over the Cincinnati Bengals.
Shaun Suisham connected on all three field goal attempts to remain perfect as a Steeler.
Pittsburgh won the toss and elected to defer, giving Cincinnati the ball to start the game. An offside penalty on LaMarr Woodley kept the Bengals drive alive and they took full advantage.
A pass interference call on Ike Taylor in the endzone set up the Bengals with a first down at the one-yard line.
On the next play, Carson Palmer found Andrew Whitworth wide open to put the Bengals up 7-0. It would be the last time the Bengals would get on the board.
Cincinnati was in full control of the game, until one play turned the tide.
With the Bengals threatening to extend their lead, Troy Polamalu picked off a pass by Carson Palmer intended for Terrell Owens. Polamalu ran it back 45 yards and extended the ball over the endzone pylon in a great individual effort. Suisham added the extra point to tie the game at 7-7 with just under five minutes to play in the half.
Polamalu also picked off Palmer late in the fourth quarter as the Bengals had a chance to cut into the big lead.
With time running out in the second half, Ben Roethlisberger was able to lead the Steelers down inside Cincinnati’s 10-yard line. However, Pittsburgh was unable to get into the endzone and had to settle for a 23-yard field goal by Suisham to take a 10-7 lead at halftime.
The field goal capped a 13-play, 75-yard drive.
In the third quarter, Roethlisberger led the Steelers inside the 10-yard line only to see the drive stall out. On first and goal from the eight-yard line, Rashard Mendenhall gained a couple yards, but a holding call forced the Steelers back.
Suisham came on and drilled a 35-yard field goal to extend the lead to 13-7.
In the fourth quarter, the Steelers had a chance to put the game away. Again, the Bengals defense dug in and forced the Steelers out of field goal range.
Cincinnati eventually took over on their own 10-yard line. On the first play of the drive, Woodley picked off a pass intended for Chad Ochocinco and walked into the endzone to put the Steelers up 20-7 with 12:21 to play.
Suisham added to the lead with a 41-yard field goal with 5:34 left in the fourth quarter.
The Bengals were able to prevent Pittsburgh’s offense from getting into the endzone, but the two interceptions returned for touchdowns swung the game in the Steelers’ favor.
Roethlisberger completed 21 of his 33 pass attempts for 258 yards with no interceptions. He started the game with a protective shield on his helmet, but removed it for the second half.
The Steelers will welcome the New York Jets to Heinz Field next Sunday at 4:15 p.m.