Ben Roethlisberger connected with Antonio Brown on a dramatic 31-yard touchdown with 10 seconds remaining to give the Pittsburgh Steelers a 28-21 win over the Cincinnati Bengals Sunday afternoon at Paul Brown Stadium.
The winning play occurred when Brown caught the pass, ran behind a block by fellow receiver Justin Hunter on Tony McRae, and easily scored as the Bengals were unsuccessful in an all-out blitz that did not leave any safeties in pass coverage.
Pittsburgh made the two-point conversion and won its sixth straight regular-season meeting with the Bengals and seventh in a row, including the 2016 win in the postseason.
“It’s AFC North football,” Roethlisberger said. “It’s just a lot of fun to win here.”
The Bengals held a 21-20 lead on Joe Mixon’s 4-yard run with 1:18 remaining but Pittsburgh marched down the field for a seven-play, 77-yard drive spanning 66 seconds.
Pittsburgh won its second straight after an inconsistent start to the season while the Bengals were unable to get to 5-1 after its latest loss to the Steelers.
“Insanity,” Bengals defensive end Carlos Dunlap said. “Insanity is an act when you do something repeatedly over and over and expect different results. You figure it out. We’ll figure it out and fix it hopefully.”
Brown finished with five catches for 105 yards but was not Pittsburgh’s leading receiver. Juju Smith-Schuster led the Steelers with seven receptions for 111 yards, including three catches and the two-point conversion on the game-winning drive.
Roethlisberger completed 32 of 46 passes for 369 yards while James Conner rushed for 111 yards on 19 carries and two 1-yard TD runs as the Steelers improved to 14-2 in their last 16 regular-season trips to Cincinnati.
“That’s big time, AFC North football,” Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin said after Roethlisberger directed his 44th game-winning drive. “We’re humbled to be a part of this series. We respect it. We realize it’s good for the game of football. You just saw why it’s good for the game of football. It’s two teams competing their tails off for 60 minutes and fighting for a lot of things.”
Andy Dalton finished 26 of 42 for 229 yards and two touchdowns. He connected with Tyler Boyd on two short touchdowns in the first half as the teams went into halftime in a 14-14 deadlock.
As often occurs between the two AFC North rivals, there were a few physical dustups.
Just three minutes into the game, Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict had words with Roethlisberger. After Conner’s first TD, Burfict stepped over the running back and needed a teammate to push him away before things escalated.
Burfict also wasn’t penalized for hitting Brown in the head and then yelled at a reporter in the locker room postgame for asking a teammate about the play.
Dalton fell to 3-12 against the Steelers and was sacked twice. A.J. Green finished with seven catches for 85 yards while Mixon carried 11 times for 64 yards.