Rashard Mendenhall rushed for two touchdowns and Ben Roethlisberger passed for 245 yards and a score as the Pittsburgh Steelers stayed in the AFC North race with a 24-17 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday.
Jerricho Cotchery caught a touchdown pass for the Steelers (7-3), who jumped into second place in the division behind the leading Baltimore Ravens.
The Bengals (6-3) had their five-game winning streak come to an end.
The Pittsburgh offense came out firing in the first quarter, finding the end zone on each of its first two possessions. Roethlisberger connected with Cotchery for a 16-yard touchdown and Mendenhall capped a nine-play drive with a 2-yard run to make it 14-0.
The Steelers kept rookie Andy Dalton in check in the first half, holding him to 69 yards on 4-of-12 passing. The secondary’s lone mistake came when Dalton found fellow rookie A.J. Green for a 36-yard touchdown. Green injured his knee on the play and sat out the second half.
The Bengals would fight back to tie it at 17-17 when Dalton found tight end Jermaine Gresham for a 1-yard score in the third. But Roethlisberger marched Pittsburgh right back down the field on the ensuing possession.
Mendenhall capped the 11-play drive with a 9-yard touchdown run to give the Steelers the lead for good.