There are few rivalries in the NFL that can equal the level of contention between that of the Bengals and Steelers. The two AFC North rivals have been at it over the past few years, with dirty hits and suspensions piling up seemingly in each game.
This “Monday Night Football” matchup should be different. The key players at the center of the past years’ altercations have typically been Vontaze Burfict, Adam Jones, Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown. The two teams have also been either fighting for playoff spots or actually in the postseason.
Burfict, Jones, Bell and Brown will not be wearing orange and black or yellow and black. And both teams are 0-3, just searching for a chance to stay relevant in 2019.
The Steelers had figured to be in the playoff hunt this season before Ben Roethlisberger was placed on the IR with a season-ending elbow injury. His replacement, Mason Rudolph, proved to be serviceable in his first game as the starter against the 49ers, completing 14 passes in 27 attempts for 174 yards with two touchdowns and a pick.
But serviceable doesn’t win games when the quarterback had previously been the most integral piece of the offense, and it cost them. Pittsburgh lost 24-20 to San Francisco, in large part due to the inability to make much out of the turnovers it forced. Despite five turnovers, the Steelers managed just six points.
The running game has been unable to get going with James Conner returning at running back and JuJu Smith-Schuster is finding out the challenges that come with being the bona fide No. 1 wideout on a team.
The AFC North is winnable, though, with the Browns currently leading the division with a tiebreaker against the Ravens. Both teams are 2-2. So for the Steelers, a win could put them right back in the mix for the division crown. A loss, and the Steel City could go into panic mode.
Sporting News will be providing live scoring updates and highlights from the Week 4 “Monday Night Football” matchup.
Bengals vs. Steelers: Live score, updates, highlights from ‘Monday Night Football’
9:13 p.m.: Erickson returns the kickoff to the 25-yard line.
9:03 p.m.: TOUCHDOWN, STEELERS. Conner takes the pass from Rudolph 21 yards to the end zone to give Pittsburgh the lead. Steelers 7, Bengals 3
9:01 p.m.: The Bengals’ drive again goes no where. Huber punts the ball to the Pittsburgh 46, where it is fair caught by Switzer.
8:58 p.m.: Mason Rudolph’s pass to Smith-Schuster is incomplete and the Steelers are forced to punt. Erickson calls for a fair catch at the 10.
First Quarter: Bengals 3, Steelers 0
8:42 p.m.: The Bengals can only move a yard back, and are forced to punt. Huber’s punt sails into the end zone and the Steelers will start at the 20.
8:37 p.m.: James Conner can’t get the first down on the fourth down rush and the Steelers turn the ball over on downs at the Cincinnati 42.
8:31 p.m.: Bullock’s kickoff is fair caught in the end zone and Pittsburgh will take the ball at the 25.
8:28 p.m.: FIELD GOAL, BENGALS. Dalton’s pass to Tyler Eifert in the end zone can’t be hauled down and Cincinnati has to settle for a 28-yarder from Randy Bullock. Bengals 3, Steelers 0
8:26 p.m.: JuJu Smith-Schuster fumbles the ball after making a reception, and the Bengals take over possession at the Pittsburgh 15.
8:21 p.m.: The Bengals get out across the 50, but the drive stalls. Kevin Huber punts the ball to the Steelers’ 12-yard line where it is fair caught by Ryan Switzer.
8:16 p.m.: Chris Boswell’s kick is returned 19 yards by Alex Erickson to the Cincinnati 21.