PITTSBURGH (AP) – Ben Roethlisberger threw for 259 yards and three touchdowns to offset a pair of interceptions and the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Cincinnati Bengals 24-16 on Sunday.
DeAngelo Williams churned out 94 yards on a career-high 32 carries and added a 4-yard touchdown grab with 6:48 remaining to give the Steelers all the breathing room they would need. Tight ends Jesse James and Xavier Grimble also caught scoring passes from Roethlisberger as the Steelers (2-0) kept Cincinnati in check at rainy Heinz Field.
Andy Dalton passed for 366 yards and a touchdown but needed 31 completions to reach that total, working almost exclusively on dump offs to running backs and tight ends while Pittsburgh clamped down on star wide receiver A.J. Green, who had just two receptions for 38 yards.
The rematch of the Steelers’ ugly 18-16 win in the wild-card round in January was downright tame. The teams combined for just 10 penalties and only one personal foul, a marked departure from that chaotic night in Cincinnati nine months ago.
Pittsburgh controlled the tempo throughout and after Roethlisberger shook off a so-so first half in which he threw a pair of picks in the rain, the Steelers pulled away. Roethlisberger hit Sammie Coates with a pretty 53-yard strike to set up a 9-yard toss to James. The quarterback later used a 14-yard scramble – his longest run in three seasons – to set up a flip to Williams that put Pittsburgh up 24-9.
Dalton found Giovanni Bernard for a 25-yard touchdown with 3:25 left but each of Cincinnati’s last two drives ended in turnovers. Tyler Boyd fumbled after getting hit by James Harrison in Pittsburgh territory with 1:50 to play and Bernard’s lateral on the game’s final play ended up in the hands of Steelers defensive end Cam Heyward.
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