Big Ben, Steelers bash Bengals
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton meet in the middle of Heinz Field after a 35-7 Steelers win on Sunday. (AP photo)
"They beat us in every area today — beat us on offense, beat us on defense, beat us in special teams," Lewis said.
Roethlisberger, who aggravated his injured thumb in practice during the week, overcame a slow start to complete 15 of 23 passes for 176 yards and the two scores to Wallace. His final completion, a 9-yard toss to tight end David Johnson in the fourth quarter, was the 2,026th of his career, breaking Hall of Famer Terry Bradshaw's club record.
It was that kind of day for Pittsburgh. Wide receiver Hines Ward became the 19th player in NFL history to eclipse 12,000 career yards while Harrison joined Chad Brown and Mike Merriweather as the only players in team history to record at least two three-sack games in the same season.
"You have to start playing good, all-around football," Ward said. "Today, we displayed that."
The Bengals did not.
Cincinnati's miscues started early. Green flinched ever so slightly just before the snap to negate a 4-yard touchdown pass from Dalton to Jermaine Gresham on the Bengals' opening possession.
Mike Nugent came out to kick a short field goal only to have it called back after being flagged for delay of game. Nugent's kick never had a shot the second time around. Rookie Cam Heyward swatted it out of harm's way to record Pittsburgh's first blocked kick in more than two years.
It's as close as the Bengals would get to making it interesting.
Mendenhall, who has been erratic, gave the Steelers the lead with a 3-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter. He upped the lead to 14-0 with a nifty 5-yard cutback run.
The Bengals continued to self-destruct on the ensuing kickoff when Brandon Tate fumbled and the Steelers recovered at the Cincinnati 23. Roethlisberger needed just three plays to hit Wallace for a 12-yard score to make it 21-0.
Dalton found Green for an 11-yard score to briefly give the Bengals life, but Brown extinguished any momentum with a scintillating 60-yard punt return just before the half that gave the Steelers a 28-7 lead at the break.
The Bengals came in with an NFL-record three double-digit second half rallies, but not this time. Playing with a lead Pittsburgh's defense teed off on Dalton and sent fans sprinting to the exits early with victory in hand.
"It's just embarrassing," Cincinnati defensive back Chris Crocker said. "You don't feel good at all. When they're beating you so bad that their fans leave, that's just a bad feeling."
The Steelers have swept the Bengals seven times in the last 11 seasons.