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Week 14 Game Recap: Pittsburgh Steelers 33, Cincinnati Bengals 20
What you need to know
The Steelers won a hard-fought AFC North battle 33-20. The Steelers offense was efficient scoring over 30 points for the 5th consecutive game. The Steelers defense came away with 3 timely interceptions. Early in the 3rd quarter, Steelers cornerback William Gay, jumped a pass for an interception return for touchdown.
The Bengals lost their starting quarterback and star tight end on the opening drive against the Steelers in Week 14. Dalton and Eifert both left and did not return with respective thumb and head injuries. A.J. McCarron
came into the game in relief and threw for two touchdowns and 208 yards along with two interceptions in the Cincinnati loss. A.J. Green
was used heavily in this one totaling 132 yards including a long 66-yard touchdown. Giovani Bernard
and Jeremy Hill
split carries but Bernard was the much more productive back with 40 yards to Hillís 16 even with one less carry.
|QB Ben Roethlisberger, 69 offensive snaps, Pass: 30 - 39 - 282 - 0 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 1 - 6 - 0|
was efficient and made good decisions on the majority of his pass attempts. Roethlisberger had 30 completions on 39 passing attempts for 282 yards and 1 interception. Roethlisberger started fast going 9 for 9 during the 1st quarter for 103 passing yards. During the opening series, Roethlisberger completed passes of 7 and 10 yards to Heath Miller
, 31 yards to Markus Wheaton
, and 19 yards to Antonio Brown
. Late 1st quarter, Roethlisberger completed 2 more passes to Brown both for 16 yards. Early 2nd quarter, Roethlisberger completed passes of 6 yards to DeAngelo Williams
and 11 yards to Martavis Bryant
before the Steelers kicked a field goal. Mid 2nd quarter, Roethlisberger completed passes of 13, 9, and 2 yards to Miller and 6 yards to Bryant. Late 2nd quarter, Roethlisberger completed a 18 yard screen pass to Bryant and a 9 yard pass to Miller before the Steelers kicked a field goal. The Steelers were up 16-7 at halftime and Roethlisberger had 185 passing yards. Mid 3rd quarter, Roethlisberger completed a 16 yard pass to Wheaton, a 26 yard pass to Brown, and passes of 3 and 9 yards to Miller before the Steelers kicked a field goal. Mid 4th quarter, Roethlisberger was intercepted on a deep pass down the left sideline intended for Bryant. On the play, Bengals defender Reggie Nelson, jumped in front of the pass for the interception.
|RB DeAngelo Williams, 65 offensive snaps, Rush: 23 - 76 - 2, Rec: 2 - 15 - 0 (2 targets)|
ran hard and found the end-zone twice. Williams had 23 rushes for 76 yards with 2 touchdowns and added 2 receptions on 2 targets for 15 yards. During the opening series, Williams had 13 combined rushing yards over 6 carries. On 2nd and goal, Williams ran up the middle for a 1 yard touchdown run. On the play, Williams avoided a tackle for loss by cutting back to his left. Late 1st quarter, Williams ran up the middle before bouncing out to the left side for a 9 yard gain. Early 2nd quarter, Williams caught a screen pass for a 6 yard reception. Mid 2nd quarter, Williams ran up the middle and found a large hole for a 15 yard gain. Early 3rd quarter, Williams caught a screen pass for a 9 yard reception. Late 4th quarter, Williams ran up the middle before spinning to his left for a 10 yard gain. A few plays later on 2nd and goal, Williams ran up the middle for a 1 yard touchdown run. On the play, Williams had good run-blocking as he fell into the end-zone.
|WR Martavis Bryant, 55 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 1 - 0, Rec: 7 - 49 - 0 (9 targets)|
had 7 receptions on 9 targets for 49 yards. Early 2nd quarter, Bryant ran an out-route a 11 yard reception. Mid 2nd quarter, Bryant caught a screen pass for a 6 yard reception. Late 2nd quarter, Bryant caught a screen pass then cut to the left sideline for a 18 yard reception. Early 4th quarter, Bryant ran a comeback route for a 9 yard reception. A couple of plays later, Bryant ran a comeback-route for a 6 yard reception.
|WR Antonio Brown, 67 offensive snaps, Rec: 7 - 87 - 0 (10 targets)|
had 7 receptions on 10 targets for 87 yards. During the opening series, Brown ran a slant-route for a 19 yard reception before being tackled on the 2 yard line. Late 1st quarter, Brown ran a comeback-route for a 16 yard reception. On the following play, Brown ran a comeback-route for a 16 yard reception. Early 2nd quarter, Brown ran a comeback-route on the right sideline for a 9 yard reception. Mid 3rd quarter, Brown ran a slant-route for a 26 yard reception.
had 4 receptions on 7 targets for 65 yards. During the opening series on 3rd and 1, Wheaton ran a vertical-route down the left sideline for a 31 yard reception. Early 2nd quarter, Wheaton caught a screen pass for a 4 yard reception. Mid 3rd quarter, Wheaton had a 16 yard reception. Early 4th quarter, Wheaton ran a crossing-route for a 14 yard reception.
|TE Heath Miller, 69 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 2 - 0, Rec: 10 - 66 - 0 (10 targets)|
was the go-to receiver during the game. Miller had a career-high 10 receptions on 10 targets for 66 yards. Miller started early on the opening drive with a 7 yard reception on a TE screen pass. A few plays later on 3rd and 8, Miller ran an out-route for a 10 yard reception. Late 1st quarter on a 3rd and 2, Mille ran a curl-route for a 4 yard reception. Mid 2nd quarter on a 3rd and 7, Miller ran a curl-route for a 13 yard reception. A couple of plays later, Miller caught a TE screen pass for a 9 yard reception. On the next play on 3rd and 1, Miller boxed out his defender for a 2 yard reception. Late 2nd quarter, Miller ran a slant-route for a 9 yard reception. Late 3rd quarter, Miller caught a screen pass for a 9 yard reception.
|QB A.J. McCarron, 49 offensive snaps, Pass: 22 - 32 - 280 - 2 TD / 2 INT, Rush: 3 - 8 - 0|
AJ McCarron was thrown into a starting role in Week 14 when Andy Dalton
went down with an apparent thumb injury. He threw two touchdowns and finished with 208 yards on 22-of-32 passing but also threw two interceptions. McCarron made some plays against the Steelers as he threw a 66-yard touchdown pass to A.J. Green
after he roasted corner Antwon Blake deep and also threw a short five-yard touchdown to Rex Burkhead
. The ball traveled 36 yards in the air where Dalton has failed to throw a pass to Green further than 30 yards in the air all season. His first interception was floated to William Gay who returned the interception 23 yards for a touchdown early in the second half. His second interception was intended for Sanu and came in the fourth quarter with 5:14 to go. He was picked off by Robert Golden and it sent Bengals fans to the exits quickly after.
|QB Andy Dalton, 9 offensive snaps, Pass: 3 - 5 - 59 - 0 TD / 1 INT|
Quarterback Andy Dalton
has started for 80 consecutive games in the NFL since is career began and after an injury in Week 14 that streak will end. One of the NFLís most durable quarterbacks injured his right thumb after an attempted screen pass to Giovani Bernard
was intercepted by lineman Stephon Tuitt. He seemed to jam his right hand into the linemanís knee and did not return. He completed three passes for 59 yards including said interception before leaving the game.
|RB Jeremy Hill, 19 offensive snaps, Rush: 7 - 16 - 0, Rec: 2 - 8 - 0 (2 targets)|
carried the ball just seven times in a Week 14 loss against the Steelers and only accumulated 16 yards. He again split carries with Giovani Bernard
who had a much better yards per carry average rushing six times for 40 yards on the day. Hill was a victim of poor game script as he didnít see the field much with limited snaps. The Bengals were behind much of the game as A.J. McCarron
was forced to air it out for a high volume of pass attempts. Hill did catch two passes for eight yards.
|RB Giovani Bernard, 38 offensive snaps, Rush: 6 - 40 - 0, Rec: 3 - 27 - 0 (5 targets)|
The theme of the game and quite possibly the season was Giovani Bernard
outperforming Jeremy Hill
on a similar volume of carries. Bernard rushed for 40 yards on six carries in a game where the Bengals ran the ball with their running backs just 13 times. Bernard did his thing in the passing game catching three-of-five targets for 27 yards and was on the field a lot in this game. On the play Dalton was intercepted and then injured Bernard was the target of a screen pass in the red zone.
|WR A.J. Green, 55 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 132 - 1 (9 targets)|
has historically torched the Steelers and was essentially the Bengals entire offense in Week 14. He totaled six receptions for 132 yards and a touchdown on nine targets. Quarterback A.J. McCarron
leaned heavily on Green after the injuries to Andy Dalton
and Tyler Eifert
on the opening drive. Green ran right past cornerback Antwon Blake for a 66-yard score in the second quarter on a deep throw by McCarron. The ball traveled 36 yards in the air, longer than any pass Dalton has thrown to Green all season without regard to yards after the catch. McCarron didnít show a huge amount of interest in spreading the ball around unlike Dalton so this could actually be positive for Greenís fantasy value going forward. If Eifert misses time, McCarron would be smart to rely on Green extensively in the passing game.
|WR Marvin Jones, 57 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 61 - 0 (8 targets)|
didnít make a ton of big plays for the Bengals in Week 14 but had a solid day in the intermediate passing game with six receptions for 61 yards. His long reception of the game was for 23 yards and had eight targets. He could see an expanded role if Eifert misses any time but expect the McCarron offense to be funneled through A.J. Green
|TE Tyler Eifert, 9 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 42 - 0 (2 targets)|
injured his head making a diving catch on Cincinnatiís first drive in Week 14. Eifert was making in his return from a stinger injury this week but before leaving had two receptions for 42 yards. Eifert was leading the NFL in touchdown receptions and will enter the leagues concussion protocol after a disastrous afternoon for the Bengals.