Cincinnati, OH – Chris Rainey scored the go-ahead touchdown early in the fourth quarter, and the Pittsburgh Steelers held on to defeat the Cincinnati Bengals, 24-17, in an AFC North clash Sunday night.
Pittsburgh (3-3) trailed 14-3 early on, but held Cincy to two first downs in the second half and got just enough offense to rebound from a loss for the third time this season.
Ben Roethlisberger improved to 8-1 in his career at Cincinnati by throwing for 278 yards with an interception and a touchdown pass to Heath Miller.
Jonathan Dwyer rushed for 122 yards on 17 carries and helped the Steelers run out the clock on the Bengals (3-4), who held the ball for just 22 1/2 minutes.
"It was a big AFC North road victory for us," Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said. "We have to build on it."
Andy Dalton, one week after tossing for a career-high 381 yards in a loss to Cleveland, wound up with 105 in Cincinnati's third straight loss. The second- year starter was intercepted once and connected with A.J. Green for a score.
Despite several key dropped passes in the first half, the Steelers went into the locker room tied at 14-14, thanks to a late touchdown and 2-point conversion.
Both teams kicked field goals on their first possessions of the second half, as Cincinnati's Mike Nugent booted a 48-yarder before Shaun Suisham was true from 45 yards out.
A series of punts ensued, and on the last play of the third quarter, Roethlisberger found Emmanuel Sanders across the middle for a 31-yard gain down to the Cincinnati 14-yard line.
After a 3-yard pickup, Rainey, a rookie from Florida, took a handoff up the middle and crossed the goal line to give Pittsburgh a 24-17 lead with 14:16 remaining.
The Steelers squandered fourth-quarter leads in each of their three losses this season, but their defense made sure the 7-point cushion was enough.
The final series for the Bengals started at their own 11-yard line following a Roethlisberger pooch punt. Two runs from BenJarvus Green-Ellis netted no yards, and an incomplete pass intended for Green brought out the punting unit.
An 11-yard catch by Mike Wallace and a 32-yard run by Dwyer allowed Pittsburgh to run off the final 3:57 and escape with a win.
Cincinnati scored two touchdowns in the first half around Suisham's 42 and 47- yard field goals.
Green-Ellis carried the ball eight times for 44 yards on the Bengals' opening possession, including a 1-yard run on 4th-and-1 from the Pittsburgh 21. Cedric Peerman capped the drive with a five-yard TD run.
Roethlisberger was picked off in the end zone early in the second quarter, then lost a fumble at his own 8-yard line the next time Pittsburgh touched the ball. Dalton and Green hooked up on a slant in the end zone on the play immediately following the turnover.
"We were executing really well (early). Later in the game it wasn't clicking the way it should have," Dalton said. "We had too many errors in the passing game today."
A Dalton interception -- one that slipped out of his hands, bounced off a helmet and landed in linebacker LaMarr Woodley's arms -- set up Miller's 9- yard touchdown catch in the final minute of the half. Miller also caught the 2-point conversion in the left corner of the end zone.
Green was limited to one catch, but extended his touchdown streak to six straight games ... Both Peerman and Rainey scored the first touchdowns of their careers... Miller has five touchdowns this season ... Woodley missed Pittsburgh's Week 6 loss at Tennessee with a strained left hamstring ... Green-Ellis gained just 25 yards on 10 carries following Cincinnati's opening series ... Pittsburgh has won five straight in the series ... The Bengals have recorded a sack in 32 straight regular-season games ... Dalton completed half of his 28 attempts.