Bengals vs. Steelers 2013 final score: Pittsburgh stays alive with 30-20 win over Cincy

Gregory Shamus

Before the Bengals could get their footing, the Steelers built a lead that proved to be insurmountable.

The Pittsburgh Steelers ruined the plan.

On Sunday Night Football, all the Cincinnati Bengals needed to do was beat the Steelers and they would take over the No. 2 seed in the AFC. But 21 first-quarter points from Pittsburgh put the Bengals in a hole they could not dig themselves out of, and the Steelers earned themselves a 30-20 victory.

It started with a Le'Veon Bell touchdown run, but Antonio Brown was the real star early on. He caught a touchdown to put the Steelers up 14-0 and then returned a punt 67 yards to the house to extend Pittsburgh's lead to 21 points.

At that point, it was clear the Bengals are a team that struggles to play with a deficit. Andy Dalton didn't have the full trust of the coaching staff. The game plan stayed conservative, and Cincinnati's offense was stagnant. It took a special teams spark to get the Bengals within striking distance of the end zone, and Giovani Bernard managed to punch in the touchdown.

The Bengals started to fight back after halftime, but it was futile. With a dwindling crowd at Heinz Field, Dalton threw two touchdowns in the second half, but a few field goals from the Steelers kept the lead at a comfortable distance.

Instead of taking over the No. 2 seed in the AFC, Cincinnati stays right where it was to start the night. The AFC North division is still technically up for grabs, and Pittsburgh is still mathematically alive for the playoffs.

That wasn't what the Bengals had in mind.

Fantasy Studs and Duds

Antonio Brown was a stud for the Steelers, just as he has been all season long. He scored two touchdowns for fantasy owners, which is enough to satisfy those lucky enough to make it to the postseason.

Did They Cover?

The Bengals were 1.5-point favorites, according to OddsShark.com, so they did not manage to cover the spread.

Up Next

The Bengals play the Vikings in Cincinnati on Sunday, December 22 at 1:00 PM EST.

The Steelers head to Green Bay to take on the Packers, next Sunday at 4:25 PM EST.

More from SB Nation NFL

NFL Week 15 updates, highlights and GIFs | Scoreboard

Mike Shanahan walks out of press conference | Tom Brady, too

GIFs: Steven Jackson bulldozes for a TD | Alshon Jeffery's crazy TD

Vernon Davis scores, runs into wall | Victor Cruz out with concussion

Breaking Madden: Tony Gonzalez, cranky old man of destruction

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.