CINCINNATI — Bengals security Vonn Bell made a beeline for JuJu Smith-Schuster and delivered a devastating strike, forcing a fumble when sending the Steelers’ receiver flying backward.
After dance Cincinnati’s midfield emblem before the match, Smith-Schuster got implanted in the turf — as well as the underdog Bengals weren’t any pussycats whatsoever in a 27-17 mad Monday night.
Pittsburgh pushovers for decades, the last-place Bengals (3-10-1) used a solid defensive effort to conquer their AFC North rivals for the first time because 2015 and deliver the slumping Steelers (11-3) for their third consecutive defeat.
Bell set the tone close to the end of their first quarter along with his punishing hit Smith-Schuster after he caught a pass from Ben Roethlisberger. The ball popped free and has been regained by Cincinnati, among three Pittsburgh turnovers in the game.
As promised, Smith-Schuster danced about the Bengals emblem before kickoff. He did exactly the exact same thing in Buffalo before some Week 14 reduction. Smith-Schuster wasn’t made accessible to coworkers postgame, but Bell had a wry grin when asked about the strike.
“I read Ben’s eyes, I watched 19, and I just went and made a drama,” he explained. “We spoke about it on the sidelines, and it only occurred.”
The Bengals had lost 11 straight matches to the Steelers, and they were not supposed to win this one — particularly using third-string quarterback Ryan Finley producing his first start of the season.
When it was, Cincinnati prevented first-place Pittsburgh from wrap up the AFC North title, and left the Steelers’ postseason prospects appear shaky.
Maybe more surprising was the fact the Bengals were the more physical team on Monday night, and this is seldom true in this rivalry.
“We have got to learn what’s going wrong and get better.”
Roethlisberger completed two of the first eight passes since the Steelers went three-and-out on among the first eight possessions. He had an interception and a fumbled market from the first half since the Bengals built a 17-0 lead.
Roethlisberger completed 20 of 38 for 170 yards with a TD and one select.
“I was not good enough now,” he explained. “Their entire defense kept us off balance.”
Roethlisberger, but never got into any type of constant rhythm in the passing game.
“We are just two weeks out (in the playoffs)” explained Pittsburgh defensive handle Cam Heyward. “We will need to create the plays early and never maintain a catch-up match. To begin 17-0, you are asking a great deal for our crime. And our offense has to start quicker “
Roethlisberger continues to preach patience, but he confessed the Steelers’ frustration level was”large” after the reduction.
“I won’t ever quit believing in this group,” he explained. “We get out it and I believe we could.