Roethlisberger shines as Steelers rout Bengals

NFL: Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers
FILE PHOTO: Nov 15, 2020; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) reacts leaving the field after defeating the Cincinnati Bengals at Heinz Field. The Steelers won 36-10. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

November 16, 2020

Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger passed for a season-best 333 yards, including four touchdowns, as the Steelers remained undefeated with a 36-10 win over the visiting Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday

Pittsburgh (9-0) was not assured Roethlisberger would be available until Saturday because of COVID-19 contact tracing protocol.

While the Steelers run game sputtered, totaling only 44 yards, Roethlisberger was 27 of 46 with scoring passes to rookie Chase Claypool (two), Diontae Johnson and JuJu Smith-Schuster.

For Cincinnati (2-6-1), rookie quarterback Joe Burrow was 21 of 40 for 213 yards with a touchdown pass to Tee Higgins. Burrow played much of the game on what appeared to be a sore left ankle. The Bengals went 0-for-13 on third-down chances.

Cincinnati played without four assistant coaches because of COVID-19 reasons.

Pittsburgh’s opening drive ended with a punt, but Browns return man Alex Erickson had the ball stripped by Ola Adeniyi. Benny Snell recovered at the Bengals 32, leading to Chris Boswell’s 41-yard field goal for a 3-0 Steelers lead.

Boswell’s 30-yarder made it 6-0 before the Steelers got into the end zone. Roethlisberger’s 46-yard pass to Johnson sparked a drive that ended with Roethlisberger’s 12-yard scoring pass to Johnson. Roethlisberger’s two-point passing attempt failed, and it was 12-0.

After Cameron Sutton stripped the ball from Higgins and Steven Nelson recovered, Pittsburgh was able to start a sixth possession in the first quarter. That ended with a punt, and Cincinnati’s offense then finally had some success.

A season-long 90-yard drive, keyed by Burrow’s 54-yard passing play to Higgins to the Pittsburgh 22, ended with Burrow’s 2-yard touchdown toss to Higgins on fourth down to cut it to 12-7.

The Steelers upped it to 19-7 when Roethlisberger, under pressure, found Smith-Schuster in the back of the end zone from 8 yards.

Boswell’s 45-yarder made it 22-7 at halftime.

Roethlisberger’s 11-yard touchdown pass over the middle to Claypool made it 29-7, the only scoring in the third quarter.

Ray-Ray McCloud’s 42-yard punt return to the Cincinnati 15 led to Roethlisberger’s 5-yard scoring pass to Claypool early in the fourth quarter.

Randy Bullock’s 37-yard field goal for the Bengals made it 36-10.

–Field Level Media