The Pittsburgh Steelers (2-1) played a season-low four quarters on defense as they fell 24-19 to the Cincinnati Bengals (1-2) on Sunday.
Tyrod Taylor rushed for 109 yards on 21 carries.
Pittsburgh’s defense allowed 18 of its 28 first-quarter points and lost ground in the middle of the field, with a third-and-10 at the Browns’ 36-yard line giving the Bengals the ball at the Pittsburgh 28.
They converted a field goal on a third down to take the lead.
Tyreek Hill scored on a 2-yard run with 3:58 left.
The Steelers answered with a field-goal drive in the final seconds to take a 34-28 lead.
The Bengals answered with an 8-play, 75-yard drive capped by Hill’s 1-yard touchdown run with 10:34 remaining.
“I thought we had some guys out there that were ready to play,” coach Marvin Lewis said.
We didn’t do anything. “
If you look at the first quarter, it was tough.
We didn’t do anything.
That’s one thing we’re looking to do in the second quarter.
We just have to continue to execute.
We got some guys that are hungry.
We’ve got some great running backs in our offense.
We have a bunch of guys that we’re going to go up against.
They’ll be a factor.”
The Steelers were in a tight spot.
Pittsburgh held a 17-10 lead early in the fourth quarter and held a 14-0 lead after a touchdown on the opening possession.
The lead never seemed to slip, as the Bengals held a 23-13 edge on third down.
But after a field goals-and onside kick by Bengals receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster to put the game out of reach, the Steelers recovered from a 17 and 22-yard field goals in the first half.
The Browns’ Matt Leinart missed a 41-yarder from the 6, the game-winning field goal and the final play of regulation.
The last time the Steelers beat the Bengals was Dec. 29, 2016, at the Georgia Dome.
Leinarts’ 42-yard attempt was his second career go-ahead field goal.
The NFL’s season-long record for longest touchdown run is a career-high 49 yards.
“The defense did a really good job, but they’ve got a lot of guys out here who are hungry,” Leinarty said.
Leinenart’s first-half TD pass went for a 5-yard loss.
Lehner, who had two field goals and two extra points in the game, finished with four carries for 26 yards.
He also had two catches for 13 yards.
Lehnert had a season high-tying five tackles for the Browns.
The other three players who contributed to the Bengals’ defense were rookie wide receiver Mike Weber (4 tackles) and defensive tackle Andrew Smith (2.5 sacks).
Weber had a career high-tackle total of three and Smith had three tackles for a loss.
Smith also had an interception.
The teams split the season series for the second time this season, with Pittsburgh winning the opening game in Pittsburgh on Sept. 10.
The second meeting came in Week 3 at Heinz Field.