Needing a win and a Baltimore loss on Monday to secure their spot,
the Bengals (9-5) were upended as their three-game winning streak
came to an end while the outcome kept the Steelers' slim playoff
"It's tough, for sure, because we had everything in front of us,"
Cincinnati wide receiver A.J. Green told reporters after finishing
with nine catches and 93 yards.
"We could have had ourselves set up in a great position if we could
have come out here and won today. But, at least we have these last
two games at home, and with the way we play at home I feel confident
that we're going to win them back in Cincinnati."
Antonio Brown scored on a 12-yard touchdown pass and a 67-yard punt
return in the first quarter, as the Steelers (6-8) scored the first
24 points of the game and led 27-7 at halftime.
Pittsburgh added a field goal in the third quarter before Cincinnati
ran off 13 points in the fourth where their rally fell short.
"We're just trying to show people the guys on this team, the
coaches, they still want to play and they have a lot of fight left
in them," Steelers safety Ryan Clark said.
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Ben Roethlisberger threw for 191 yards and a score for the
Steelers while Andy Dalton tossed 230 yards and two scores for
Roethlisberger broke his single-season team completion record,
raising his total to 340. He completed 337 passes in 2009.
Roethlisberger also improved his career record against the
Bengals to 15-6.
Brown had five catches for 66 yards, giving him 95 receptions
for the season. He has two games left in his bid to break the
team record of 112 set by Hines Ward in 2012.
Kicker Shaun Suisham booted three field goals for the Steelers,
including one from 26 yards in the third quarter that pushed the
lead to 30-7.
Cincinnati quarterback Andy Dalton finished with 230 yards
passing, completing 25 of 44 attempts with two touchdowns and no
interceptions. Cincinnati wide receiver A.J. Green had nine
receptions for 93 yards.
(Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; editing by Amlan
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