Steelers Hold Off Bengals to Win 27-21, Tie for NFL's Best Record at 6-2

The Pittsburgh Steelers withstood a fourth-quarter rally to beat the Cincinnati Bengals 27-21 and tie for the best record in the National Football League.

The Steelers improved to 6-2 when linebacker James Harrison knocked a fourth-down pass out of the hands of Bengals receiver Jordan Shipley at the Pittsburgh 5-yard line with 34 seconds left at Cincinnati’s Paul Brown Stadium last night.

Pittsburgh avoided blowing a lead of 20 or more points for the first time in franchise history and remains tied with Baltimore atop the American Football Conference’s North Division. The Steelers are also tied with the Ravens, New York Giants, New York Jets, Atlanta Falcons and New England Patriots for the NFL’s best record through Week 9.

“We almost gave it away, but the defense held strong,” Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said during a televised interview.

The Steelers led 20-7 at halftime as Rashard Mendenhall scored on a 1-yard touchdown run and Roethlisberger threw an 8- yard scoring pass to Hines Ward. Pittsburgh increased its lead when Antwaan Randle El tossed a 39-yard touchdown pass on a trick play to Mike Wallace to begin the fourth quarter.

The Bengals then pulled within 27-21 as Terrell Owens caught his second touchdown pass of the game and Cedric Benson scored on a 1-yard run.

After Jeff Reed missed a 46-yard field goal for Pittsburgh with 3:59 left, Cincinnati drove 67 yards in 12 plays before being turned away by a Steelers defense that’s allowed a league- low 123 points this season.

The Steelers, who next host the Patriots on Nov. 14, improved to 6-0 in “Monday Night Football” games under coach Mike Tomlin.

“We’re far from perfect, but we’re 6-2,” Tomlin said during a news conference. “It’s great to get out of here with a win. I liked the way our team fought. We made some mistakes, but we did enough to win the game.”

Owens finished with 10 receptions for 141 yards and two scores for the Bengals (2-6).

To contact the reporter on this story: Erik Matuszewski in New York at matuszewski@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net

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