Mixon topped the 100-yard mark before the two-minute warning to end the first half, on the drive he got his first touchdown of the day to extend his scoring streak to eight straight games. That gave the Bengals a 24-3 lead with 2:43 left in the second quarter, and he added another 1-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter after Evan McPherson tacked on a 51-yard field goal for the only points of the third quarter.
While the Bengals established their running game early to get the offense moving, the defense picked up where it left off last week against Las Vegas and showed their early-season success against the Steelers was no fluke. Pittsburgh’s only touchdown came with 2:59 left when Roethlisberger connected with Pat Freiermuth on a 15-yard pass.
Cornerback Eli Apple picked off Roethlisberger’s back-shoulder pass intended for Chase Claypool on the Steelers’ first drive and returned 50 yards to the 5-yard line for his second straight game with an interception. The Bengals couldn’t take advantage of the goal-to-go situation, as Burrow took a sack for a 12-yard loss on third down, but they extended the lead on a 31-yard field goal from McPherson.
After Roethlisberger threw a 41-yard pass to Claypool on the next drive, the Bengals minimized the damage to a 40-yard field goal from Chris Boswell. The offense then responded with another touchdown drive, capped by a 32-yard catch from Tee Higgins, who won a jump ball in the end zone over Steelers cornerback James Pierre. Pierre was starting in place of injured cornerback Joe Haden.
The Steelers crossed midfield on the ensuing drive but ended up punting to set up a 14-play, 84-yard touchdown drive on which Mixon originally thought he had scored on an eight-yard run only to find out upon review that he was just shy of the goal line. He punched it in on the next play for a 1-yard touchdown.
Cincinnati forced a three-and-out the next possession, but safety Minkah Fitzpatrick gave Pittsburgh the ball back by intercepting Burrow on a deep ball toward the end zone. A scuffle broke out after T.J. Watt took Burrow to the ground on the return, but no penalties were called. That’s when Hilton stepped up the next play with his interception for what seemed to be the dagger just before halftime.
Burrow completed 20 of 24 passes for 190 yards and one touchdown with one interception and was replaced midway through the fourth quarter. Backup Brandon Allen threw one incomplete pass. Higgins finished with 114 yards on six catches to lead the receivers.
Roethlisberger finished with 263 yards passing and one touchdown with two interceptions, and Najee Harris managed just 23 yards rushing.