CINCINNATI — The Bengals entered Monday night's matchup against the Steelers hoping to snap a five-game losing streak and that's exactly what they did.
Cincinnati never trailed in the 27-17 win over Pittsburgh. They got out to an early lead thanks to some sloppy play by the Steelers and never looked back.
The Bengals forced three first half turnovers, which propelled them to a 17-0 lead.
The Steelers only had two first downs in the first half. Ben Roethlisberger had 19 yards passing in the first two quarters
Pittsburgh woke up in the second half, but it was too little, too late. They pulled within seven points twice, but the Bengals' defense stopped them in the final two minutes to secure the win.
Second-year quarterback Ryan Finley got the start in place of injured veteran Brandon Allen. He was efficient, completing 7-of-13 passes for 89 yards and one touchdown. He also ran for 47 yards and a score.
Cincinnati lost 11-straight matchups to Pittsburgh entering Monday night's game.
The Bengals improve to 3-10-1 on the season. The Steelers fall to 11-3. They've lost three-straight games.
Monday was Zac Taylor's second career win in the AFC North. He improves to 1-3 against Pittsburgh since being named head coach in 2019.
This is by far the biggest win of the Taylor era. His head coaching record improves to 5-24-1.
Cincinnati entered Monday night's contest -10 in turnover differential. Pittsburgh was +11, which led the NFL.
The Bengals needed to force turnovers to hang around and that's exactly what they did in the first half.
The short fields gave Finley and the rest of Cincinnati's offense great field position to start three of their drives, which all led ended with points.
The Bengals didn't have a turnover after fumbling three times against Dallas in Week 14.
Defensive end Carl Lawson was dominant on Monday night. He finished with one sack, one forced fumble and six quarterback hits.
The Bengals travel to Houston to take on the 4-10 Texans. Kickoff is Sunday, Dec 27 at 1 p.m.
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