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Bengals stun slumping Steelers in 27-17 victory

Cincinnati Bengals cornerbacks William Jackson, left, and Mackensie Alexander celebrate.
Cincinnati Bengals cornerbacks William Jackson, left, and Mackensie Alexander celebrate after the Pittsburgh Steelers turn the ball over on downs during the second half of the Bengals’ win Monday.
(Michael Conroy / Associated Press)

Giovani Bernard scored two first-half touchdowns after turnovers and the Cincinnati Bengals held on to stun the badly slumping Pittsburgh Steelers 27-17 on Monday night.

The Bengals led 17-0 at halftime and survived a rally by the Steelers, who lost their third straight after 11 consecutive wins to start the season. Pittsburgh didn’t get a first down until more than halfway through the second quarter.

Cincinnati (3-10-1) snapped a streak of 11 straight losses to Pittsburgh in most unlikely fashion, with Ryan Finley at quarterback. The second-year player, making his first start in place of injured No. 1 overall draft pick Joe Burrow, completed seven passes for 89 yards, but his 23-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter all but sealed it for the Bengals.

It was the second huge upset of this NFL weekend. Pittsburgh was a 14-point favorite, and the Rams were favored by 17 before losing to the previously winless New York Jets on Sunday. It was the first time since the 1970s that two teams favored by 14 points or more lost on the same weekend.

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Rams rookie running back Cam Akers won’t be available to play Sunday against the Seahawks because of a high ankle sprain he suffered against the Jets.

Three weeks ago, the Steelers (11-3) were on track for the top overall seed in the AFC, but now they could end up a wild card. Pittsburgh has tough matchups remaining against Indianapolis (10-4) and Cleveland (10-4), which trails the Steelers by one game in the AFC North.

The Steelers rallied within 17-10 in the second half before Finley ran untouched around the left side for a 23-yard touchdown with 11:21 left in the game to push the lead back to 14.

Pittsburgh scored again on a plunge by Bennie Snell after getting a pass-interference call in the end zone on fourth-and-4 from the Cincinnati 12.

The Steelers got the ball back with 2:17 left in the game at their own 24 but four incomplete passes by Ben Roethlisberger all but finished it. Austin Seibert kicked a 33-yard field goal with 12 seconds left for the final margin.

In the first half, Bernard ran for a touchdown after Pittsburgh lost a fumble and then caught a 14-yard pass from Finley for a score, two plays after Roethlisberger was picked off by Mackensie Alexander.

The Bengals held Roethlisberger to 19 passing yards in the first half. He finished 20 for 38 for 170 yards with a touchdown and an interception.

Bernard had 25 carries for 83 yards as the Bengals stuck to a ground-heavy approach with Finley under center.

Kevin Greene, who played for the Rams, Steelers, 49ers and Panthers during his Hall of Fame NFL career, died Monday at the age of 58.


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