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Dalton helps Bengals top Steelers on 'MNF'

Published On: Dec 24 2013 06:19:54 AM CST
Updated On: Sep 17 2013 12:46:07 AM CDT
Cincinnati Bengals helmet

NFL

CINCINNATTI -

Andy Dalton threw for 280 yards and a touchdown as Cincinnati beat Pittsburgh at home for only the second time in the last 12 meetings.

Rookie running back Giovani Bernard scored a pair of touchdowns and the Bengals (1-1) blanked the Steelers in the second half to send Pittsburgh to its first 0-2 start since the 2002 season. Dalton overcame an erratic first half to complete 25-of-45 passes and BenJarvus Green-Ellis rushed for 75 yards as Cincinnati controlled the ball for 35 1/2 minutes.

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger had his second straight sub-par outing, finishing 20-of-37 for 251 yards with one touchdown and a critical interception by Reggie Nelson with 4:55 to play.

The Bengals broke away from a 10-10 halftime tie when Dalton capped an eight-play, 78-yard drive with a 27-yard scoring toss to Bernard, who took a short pass and zipped into the end zone untouched with 6:08 left in the third. Mike Nugent kicked his second field goal midway through the fourth for a 20-10 lead as Pittsburgh went three-and-out on its first three possessions of the second half.

The momentum turned abruptly in the first quarter, when Steelers tight end David Paulson fumbled at the end of a 34-yard reception. Dalton hit Tyler Eifert on a 61-yard pass three plays later to set up Bernard's 7-yard TD run for a 7-3 lead, but the Steelers pulled even at the half when Roethlisberger connected with Emmanuel Sanders for 19 and 43 yards before floating a 1-yard touchdown pass to rookie Derek Moye.

GAME NOTEBOOK: Bernard became the first Cincinnati player to score two touchdowns in a game versus the Steelers since Terrell Owens in 2010. ... RB Felix Jones started for Pittsburgh after Isaac Redman was shaken up on the opening kickoff and ran for 37 yards on 10 carries as the Steelers were limited to 44 yards on the ground after managing only 32 in Week 1. ... Dalton went to the air a career-high 32 times in the first half alone, completing 16 for 165 yards, while Roethlisberger also struggled before hitting his last three attempts to wind up 9-of-16 for 130 yards.

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