Bengals vs. Steelers game recap: Everything we know
The Cincinnati Bengals moved to 2-1 after a stunning thumping of the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday.
There, Ja’Marr Chase popped off with two touchdown catches as Joe Burrow looked as comfortable as he’s been all season in the pocket and on the run.
The result is Cincinnati looking great in the AFC North standings after what could have been a passing-of-the-torch moment. Before the team starts prepping for Jacksonville on Thursday, here’s everything to know from the game.
Final score: 24-10
Keys to the game
Defense: Lou Anarumo’s unit was on fire again. Constant pressure against a bad line and sitting on the short stuff against a quarterback who can’t air it out deep anymore meant another elite showing…Play-calling: Besides a few very ugly hiccups by Zac Taylor here and there, this was a very strong showing. The offense got guys like Chris Evans involved in the passing game and it made the deep shots count…Burrow: It’s worth stressing just how comfortable Burrow looked with his legs. He was moving around the pocket and had a few notable runs, though at least one was called back. There were still some scattershot-accuracy throws, but his comfort level is clearly shooting through the roof.
It was over when...
…Ja’Marr Chase scored his second touchdown of the game, casually beating his man across the middle of the endzone for an easy catch. That made it 24-7 early in the third quarter. Big Ben’s inability to stretch the field and the great play by the Cincinnati defense was clearly going to make the deficit too much to overcome.
Bengals' Top Performers
QB Joe Burrow: 14/18, 172 yards, 3 TD, 1 INT
RB Joe Mixon: 18 carries, 90 yards, 5.0 average
RB Chris Evans: 2 catches, 26 yards
WR Ja’Marr Chase: 4 catches, 65 yards, 2 TD
WR Tyler Boyd: 4 catches, 36 yards
LB Logan Wilson: 14 tackles, two INT
DL Cam Sample: 1 sack
DL B.J. Hill: 1 sack
DL Trey Hendrickson: 1 sack
DL Sam Hubbard: 1 sack
Right tackle Riley Reiff left the game in the third quarter, merely walking off with trainers. He later returned. Corner Chidobe Awuzie got slammed to the turf, helped off and wasn’t seen again.
Important game notes
— A sign of things to come? Burrow worked magic on an early third-down scramble after an offensive line collapse, only to have all his effort negated by a holding penalty.
— Special teams was a disaster early. Very bad punt coverage followed up by Darius Phillips ruining great field position on his own during a punt return. Not what you expect to see from a unit headed up by an elite mind like Darrin Simmons.
— Joe Burrow’s first pick was a disaster of a throw into multiple defenders. Tyler Boyd just couldn’t go up high enough to get it. Throw is better for a Tee Higgins or Auden Tate.
— Boyd made good on the next drive though, going for a 17-yard score.
— Logan Wilson keeps trending toward elite status after pressure up front helps him pull off a wicked interception in the opening quarter.
— Zac Taylor play-calling issues came up big again in the second quarter. Up 7-0 and after a huge run by Joe Mixon, the play-calling got messy. This sums it up best:
— A Perine run went nowhere, Burrow got sacked and instead of extending the lead, the Bengals gave the ball back. Pittsburgh went down the field and scored to make it 7-7 at halftime.
— Not to worry — Ja’Marr Chase torched the Steelers for a touchdown for his third touchdown in as many pro games.
— Bengals added a field goal right after halftime. Play-calling was much improved, especially with the use of Chris Evans as a receiver.
— That drive got capped off by another touchdown for Chase. Burrow had plenty of time to wait for him to get open thanks to some strong blocking up front.
— From there, cruise control, as Pittsburgh went so far as to even kick a field goal while down 24-7 after a nine-minute drive. The Bengals were totally content to let Big Ben attempt to push the ball down the field because, to be blunt, he hasn’t looked great.
The Bengals face a brutal short turnaround ahead of a Thursday night primetime game.
Their opponent? The rebuilding Jacksonville Jaguars with Trevor Lawrence under center. That one goes down in Cincinnati and the team has a chance to move the needle to 3-1.