Proving the first meeting this season wasn’t a fluke, the Cincinnati Bengals walloped the visiting Pittsburgh Steelers 41-10 Sunday afternoon behind a career day by Joe Mixon.
Mixon rushed for a career-high 165 yards and punched in a pair of 1-yard touchdowns as the Bengals (7-4) swept the regular-season series from the Steelers (5-5-1) for the first time since 2009.
Cincinnati has won three straight against their AFC North rivals, their longest streak since winning six in a row from 1988-90.
Joe Burrow completed 20 of 24 for 190 yards with a touchdown and an interception and Tee Higgins hauled in six catches for 114 yards and a TD. Mixon has scored at least one TD in eight straight games for Cincinnati, which scored on its first four possessions and never looked back.
Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger completed 24 of 41 passes for 263 yards and a touchdown, but was also guilty of three turnovers. His two first-half interceptions led to 10 Cincinnati points, and the Bengals added a touchdown off his third-quarter fumble. Roethlisberger was sacked three times.
The Bengals started in rhythm and never faltered. Burrow scored on an 8-yard scramble to cap the game’s first series for a 7-0 lead. Eli Apple returned Roethlisberger’s interception to the 5-yard line, and Evan McPherson added a 31-yard field goal for a 10-0 lead less than nine minutes in.
Pittsburgh got on the board with Chris Boswell’s 40-yard field goal, but the Bengals answered quickly with Burrow finding Higgins for a 32-yard touchdown and a 17-3 lead with 14:15 left in the half.
Mixon’s 1-yard plunge made it 24-3 and gave Cincinnati scores on nine straight offensive possessions dating back to last week. Mike Hilton picked off Roethlisberger in the flat, and returned it 24 yards for a touchdown with just 30 seconds left in the half and a 31-3 lead at the break.
McPherson added a 51-yard field goal in the third quarter, and Mixon scored again from the one with 13:10 remaining to make it 41-3.
Pittsburgh avoided the worst margin of defeat in the series when Roethlisberger hit Pat Freiermuth with a 15-yard touchdown with 2:59 left.