Both teams had success on their opening drives, with PIttsburgh striking first on a 42-yard field goal by Shaun Suisham. The Steelers moved 37 yards on nine plays on the possession. A 23-yard pass from Ben Roethlisberger to Antonio Brown on 3rd-and-9 got the Steelers in field goal range before the drive stalled.
Cincinnati answered right back with a long touchdown drive that spanned 15 plays, 79 yards and took 8:09 off the clock. Running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis did most of the work on the drive, carrying the ball eight times for 44 yards. However, it would be Cedric Peerman's five-yard touchdown rush that finished off the drive to put the Bengals up 7-3.
Roethlisberger had Pittsburgh on the move once again on their second drive, but it ended with an interception by Cincinnati's Chris Crocker in the end zone.