Never even close.
That is until the Bengals blew what should have been a first quarter score that should have put them up 7-0 early in Sunday’s eventual 35-7 blowout loss to the Steelers in Pittsburgh.
The loss puts them at 7-5 on the season, and they have dropped three of their last four, losing two to the Steelers, and a hard fought seven-point game in Baltimore.
The Bengals had an apparent touchdown to Jerome Simpson called back due to a false start on their first drive. Then two plays later Mike Nugent nailed a 28-yard field goal to make it 3-0.
Not so fast.
A delay of game cost the Bengals five more yards, and then the next play Nugent’s 33-yard attempt was blocked by Cameron Heyward, stopping the Bengals from what could have been an early lead.
From there, the Steelers took over. They ran the ball down the Bengals throats, and got a big play from WR Antonio Brown to set up a Rashard Mendenhall score to make it 7-0.
Mendenhall went in from five yards out after a pass interference to make it 14-0. The game got more out of hand after a fumble on the kickoff, and Ben Roethlisberger hit Mike Wallace to make it 21-0 with 8:33 left to play in the first half.
The Bengals got their only score of the game on the next drive, as they got an Andy Dalton 11-yard TD pass to A.J. Green to cut the three touchdown game to two at 21-7.
The game changed for good right before the half, as the Bengals went 3-and-out right before half, and kicked away to Brown, who got the benefit of a block in the back that wasn’t called, and went 60 yards for a TD to make it 28-7 at the half.
The second half saw the Steelers get one TD, another Wallace touchdown from 19 yards out with 3:26 left in the third quarter to make it 35-7.
Dalton was pulled in the game in the fourth quarter after he was hit a lot, and was sacked three times. The Bengals managed just 235 yards in the loss, allowing the Steelers to run for 136 yards.
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