Two touchdowns for Giovanni Bernard and two field goals from Mike Nugent was enough for the Cincinnati Bengals to overcome the Pittsburgh Steelers, 20-10, on Monday night.
Although he only had eight carries on the game, Bernard rushed for 38 yards and touchdown, while also reeling in a 27 yard touchdown reception as well.
The rookie running back has been touted as the future of the Bengals' back but at the moment, 'The Lawfirm' BenJarvus Green-Ellis takes the lion's share of the carries. He had 22 last night and ran for 75 yards.
Going into the game, the Bengals were considered a largely one-dimensional offence with their gameplan being either a) find AJ Green and throw to AJ Green b) if unable to find AJ Green, throw it and hope AJ Green finds it, so the addition of the running backs as a threat will be a welcome gift.
The game itself was a war of attrition for the most part. The Steelers scored a field goal on their second drive but one the next drive, tight end, David Paulson failed to protect the football and was stripped by Bengals' cornerback Adam 'Pacman' Jones on what was a 34 yard completion and would've put the Steelers in the redzone.
On the resulting drive, a 61 yard completion to another rookie, tight end, Tyler Eifert, put the Bengals in the redzone. A seven yard rush for Bernard got him the first of his two scores.
Pittsburgh tied up the game going into the half as Ben Roethlisberger saw Emmanuel Sanders in space for a 43 yard pass to put them at the one yard line. Big Ben then found Derek Moye in the corner of the endzone to tie it up 10-10.
Bottling up AJ Green with double coverage was the plan for the Steelers but when he and the other receivers ran corner and post routes, Bernard was open in the middle of an exposed Steelers backfield. With roam to run and blockers up front, he ran in a 27 yard touchdown.
A Mike Nugent field goal in the fourth capped the game off for the Bengals. Neither quarterback had over 300 yards and no running back or wide receiver had 100 yards in a game that was a slow, slow burner.
The Steelers 0-2 start is their worst start since 2002 and they sit bottom of the AFC North, alongside the Cleveland Browns. The Bengals move to 1-1 after losing to the Chicago Bears in the season opener.
Next week the Steelers host the Bears at Heinz Field, while the Bengals will welcome a visit from the Green Bay Packers.
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