CINCINNATI (AP) — Chris Boswell kicked a field goal on the final play shortly after Antonio Brown caught a 6-yard touchdown pass — taking a hit to the head while landing in the end zone — and the Pittsburgh Steelers pulled off another improbable comeback against the Cincinnati Bengals, rallying for a 23-20 victory Monday night.
Down 17-0 early, the Steelers (10-2) extended their best start since 2004 in a physical game with a couple frightening injuries. Brown’s touchdown tied it at 20 with 3:51 to go, setting up Boswell’s 38-yard field goal, his second straight winner in the closing seconds.
The Bengals (5-7) simply can’t find a way to beat their Ohio River rival, not even after getting off to the big early lead. They’ve dropped six straight against Pittsburgh, including the Steelers’ 18-16 playoff win at Paul Brown Stadium that included another Bengals meltdown.
Pittsburgh lost leading tackler Ryan Shazier to a back injury in the first quarter. The linebacker was taken off the field on a cart and taken to a hospital for evaluation. Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict was carted off in the fourth quarter after JuJu Smith-Schuster leveled him with a high hit, then taunted him by walking over him.
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin did not have an update on Shazier’s status after the game.
There were 11 personal fouls in another acrimonious rematch in their hard-edged series. The Bengals self-destructed with 13 penalties for 173 yards.
The AFC North-leading Steelers remain tied with New England for best record in the conference. They host the Patriots on Dec. 17.
Steelers: Brown missed practice last week with a toe injury. He moved slowly during pregame warmups but started and finished with eight catches for 101 yards.
Bengals: CB Adam “Pacman” Jones intercepted a pass on Pittsburgh’s opening possession and hurt his groin on the play and didn’t return. Running back Joe Mixon suffered a concussion late in the first half.
Steelers host second-place Baltimore (7-5) next Sunday night in their fourth prime-time game of the season. They won at Baltimore 26-9 on Oct. 1.
Bengals host the Bears (3-9), completing a stretch of three straight home games. Cincinnati is 3-2 at Paul Brown Stadium this season.