CINCINNATI (AP) – Chris Boswell tied the club record with six field goals, and Ben Roethlisberger threw a touchdown pass in the fourth quarter Sunday, rallying Pittsburgh to a 24-20 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals that kept the Steelers in control of the AFC North.
The Steelers (9-5) have won five straight and can clinch the division title with a victory at home next Sunday against Baltimore (8-6). As a first step, they rallied from a 14-point deficit – kick by kick – and eliminated the defending champions at a place where they’re right at home.
They beat the Bengals (5-8-1) in the opening round of the playoffs 18-16 last January, getting the winning field goal with the help of penalties on Vontaze Burfict and Adam “Pacman” Jones. Burfict and Jones each got a personal foul on Sunday – Pittsburgh’s Marcus Gilbert had one as well – as the animosity continued.
So did the Steelers’ dominance at Paul Brown Stadium, where they’ve won four in a row.
Running back Jeremy Hill had an early take-that moment as the Bengals scored on each of their first four possessions for a 20-6 lead. As part of his touchdown celebration, he grabbed a Terrible Towel a fan threw on the field, tried to tear it, and then threw it to the ground.
Boswell accounted for Pittsburgh’s first 15 points with kicks from 45, 49, 49, 40, 49 and 30 yards.
In the end, there was another Bengals meltdown. They had penalties on four consecutive plays – including Pat Sims’ personal foul – that set up Roethlisberger’s 24-yard touchdown pass to Eli Rogers for a 24-20 lead.
Gary Anderson (1988 vs. Denver) and Jeff Reed (2002 vs. Jacksonville) also kicked six field goals for the Steelers, who beat the Broncos 39-21 and the Jaguars 25-23 in those contests.
Steelers: DE Stephon Tuitt had a facemask penalty against Andy Dalton that extended Cincinnati’s opening field goal drive. He also injured his right knee on the drive and didn’t return. Last December at Paul Brown Stadium, Tuitt intercepted one of Dalton’s passes and the quarterback broke his right thumb tackling him. … TE Ladarius Green caught a 28-yard pass on the final drive and then went to the locker room to be tested for a concussion.
Bengals: WR A.J. Green was inactive for the fourth straight game with a strained right hamstring. He returned to practice on a limited basis last week and hopes to play in one of the two final games.
The Steelers lost to the Ravens 21-14 on Nov. 6 in Baltimore. The Steelers close the regular season by hosting Cleveland.
The Bengals play at Houston on Saturday, then finish the season at home against the Ravens.
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