Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers Beat Bengals Behind Le'Veon Bell's Big Performance

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistOctober 22, 2017

Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell (26) gets past Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Carl Lawson (58) during the first half of an NFL football game in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Oct. 22, 2017. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
Keith Srakocic/Associated Press

All season, the Pittsburgh Steelers' success has been predicated on feeding Le'Veon Bell.

Suffice it to say Bell won't go home hungry Sunday.

The Pro Bowl running back accounted for nearly 200 yards of total offense and Ben Roethlisberger threw two touchdown passes, as the Steelers earned a 29-14 win over the Cincinnati Bengals.

Bell rushed for 134 yards and added 58 on his three receptions. It's his second consecutive game with at least 30 carries and 100-plus yards on the ground. The Steelers are 12-0 in games where Bell rushes the ball 25 or more times during his career, including a 4-0 mark this season. They are 1-2 in all other games.

Roethlisberger threw for 224 yards on 14-of-24 passing as part of his first multi-touchdown game since Week 2. He hit Antonio Brown for a seven-yard score on the game's opening drive, and JuJu Smith-Schuster hauled in a 31-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter. The latter's score wound up giving fans an early contender for Celebration of the Year:

Brown finished with a game-high 65 yards. He and Roethlisberger connected on only four of their 10 targets and struggled a bit in the second half.

Pittsburgh's biggest play in the passing game came not from Roethlisberger but instead from special teamer Robert Golden, who hit Darrius Heyward-Bey on a 44-yard fake punt pass in the fourth quarter. The Steelers scored a field goal later in that drive to finalize the score.

Golden had more yards on that one play than the Bengals had in the entire second half.

Andy Dalton threw a pair of first-half touchdowns, then promptly came out and added a pair of picks and a three-and-out on their first three drives of the third quarter. Dalton finished the game with just 140 yards on 17-of-30 passing.

A.J. Green did not make a catch in the second half and had a team-high 41 yards on three receptions. No Bengals pass play went for more than 22 yards. Joe Mixon carried the ball seven times for 48 yards in the first half, and then promptly did not get another carry for the final 30 minutes. It was a masterclass in confounding offensive decisions for a Bengals team that needed this win to stay in contention in the AFC North.

The Bengals will look to fare better next week when they host the Indianapolis Colts. 

The division-leading Steelers travel to Detroit to play the Lions next Sunday. 

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