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Steelers vs. Bengals: Pittsburgh's much-needed win a team effort

The Steelers needed a big win against the Bengals Sunday night, and they got one, coming out with a 24-17 victory on a team effort.

The Steelers took an early lead on a field goal by Shaun Suisham, but by the middle of the second quarter, the Bengals had scored two touchdowns to make it 14-3. (Notably, the second of those touchdowns was an eight-yard reception by star wideout A.J. Green. It was Green's only catch of the day. Ike Taylor was covering him -- so much for Taylor being washed up.)

With three minutes left, Suisham hit another field goal. Then LaMarr Woodley tipped an Andy Dalton pass at the line and ended up with an interception, and Ben Roethlisberger tossed a touchdown pass to Heath Miller a few plays later. After a two-point conversion, the Steelers had tied the game at 14.

Each team kicked a field goal in the third quarter. After that, the Steeler defense took over, recording five straight three-and-outs. That gave the offense plenty of opportunities, and it made good on one of them, as Chris Rainey found a hole up the middle and scampered for an 11-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter.

The Steelers also got contributions from a number of players not yet mentioned here. Not least of those was Jonathan Dwyer, the third-string running back who recorded 122 yards rushing, and Antonio Brown, who caught seven passes for 96 yards. (Another wideout, Mike Wallace, had a rough game, with a number of drops. But hey.)

With the win, the Steelers move to within a game and a half of the Ravens, who were blown out by the Texans earlier Sunday. That's crucial, because it looks like the Ravens might not be the AFC North power they've been in the past, and the Steelers will get a couple shots at them later in the season.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.