Two key plays in the fourth quarter by maligned cornerback William Gay helped seal the win for the Steelers over the Cincinnati Bengals by a score of 24-17.
The Steelers took the lead on a nine-yard run by Rashard Mendenhall, and the Bengals had the fourth quarter to try to put together a game-tying drive. On their first, they were forced to punt. On their second, Gay had Andy Dalton’s target tightly covered. He deflected the ball, and the deflection was caught by Lawrence Timmons for an interception. On the Bengals’ third chance, they had to punt again. Then Gay got an interception of his own on a pass that Dalton intended for Jerome Simpson. That allowed the Steelers to burn through the Bengals’ timeouts and run out the clock.
Dalton played a pretty good game for a rookie, but he did throw two interceptions. Meanwhile, Ben Roethlisberger did enough, throwing for 245 yards, to help the Steelers to a victory. If the Ravens somehow lose to the Seahawks later on, the Steelers will be in first place in the AFC North. If not, they’ll be a half-game behind the Ravens and a half-game ahead of the Bengals.