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Pittsburgh at Cincinnati

Fill-in Moore, big pass rush fire Steelers' rout in Cincy

CBSSports.com wire reports
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CINCINNATI -- Mewelde Moore describes his job in three words.

The running back who signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers to play "in case of" injury to starter Willie Parker had his best performance as a fill-in on Sunday, one that could be summed up in only one word.

Indispensable.

Moore scored a career-high three touchdowns, and Pittsburgh piled up seven sacks in a 38-10 victory that solidified the Steelers' hold on first place in the AFC North and left the Cincinnati Bengals wallowing without a win at the bottom of the league.

A running back who knows his place had a lot to do with it.

It appeared he was headed back to a reserve role when Parker returned to practice this week, seemingly healthy after being sidelined for two weeks by a sprained knee. But Parker aggravated the injury while working out, and Moore -- signed in the offseason as a free agent from Minnesota -- went back to being the center of attention.

Not that he wants it.

"I signed here to do a job, and that's 'in case of,"' said Moore, who ran for 120 yards and caught five passes. "Right now, it's just an in-case-of deal. I know when Willie's healthy and ready to roll, I'm going to go back to doing the things that are asked of me."

On Sunday, the Steelers (5-1) asked a lot of him in an offense known for running the ball no matter who's in the backfield. Moore ran for a pair of touchdowns and caught a pass for another.

"We didn't get him to replace Willie," quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said. "We got him to be our scat guy, a guy to catch passes, and that's what he's been doing. And he's been doing a great job of running the ball. When we got him, I was excited because I knew what he could do. He's just kind of showing everybody what I've already known."

Thousands of Steelers fans in the crowd of 65,860 twirled their yellow Terrible Towels when Moore bounced off a tackler, landed in the end zone on his back after a 2-yard run, then spiked the ball during a 21-point burst in the fourth quarter that finished off the 0-7 Bengals.

Cincinnati had a 15-yard punt, allowed Pittsburgh a season-high seven sacks, and couldn't get a sack against an offensive line depleted by injuries.

"I'm angry," Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said. "That's not good. That's not what professional football is all about. We didn't protect the quarterback, and when you do that, you're going to have a hard time getting the ball up and down the field."

Cincinnati fell to 0-7 for the fifth time since 1991, when Mike Brown took control of the team and the franchise fell into one of the longest stretches of futility in NFL history. Only 18 times since 1991 has a team started a season by losing its first seven games; Cincinnati accounts for five of those.

It's not likely to get much better soon. Quarterback Carson Palmer stood on the sideline in sweatpants, missing his second straight game and his third overall with an elbow injury. Backup Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for a touchdown, but was sacked seven times and fumbled once.

How bad was it? When Cedric Benson ran 4 yards for Cincinnati's initial first down of the game with 4:57 left in the first half, Bengals fans gave a standing ovation.

"It's hard to look up at the scoreboard at the end of the game and see 38-10," said Fitzpatrick, who went 21-of-35 for 164 yards. "We hung in there pretty good for three quarters, and we thought we had a chance to pull it out."

Not even close.

Roethlisberger improved to 11-0 in his native state -- he's never lost in Cleveland or Cincinnati. With his separated passing shoulder much better after a bye week, Roethlisberger threw two touchdown passes, including a 50-yarder to Nate Washington that started the fourth-quarter scoring spurt.

"It wasn't easy," Roethlisberger said. "Those guys brought a lot of different blitzes. I think they blitzed us every play. That's the way we should play offense. That's us when we're really clicking."

Notes

  • The 38 points matched Pittsburgh's season high. It was the Steelers' most lopsided win since a 38-7 victory over Baltimore last Nov. 5.
  • CB Bryant McFadden and S Troy Polamalu got hurt on the same play in the fourth quarter. McFadden suffered an arm injury and was expected to have tests. Polamalu lost his helmet while tackling Benson and was unsteady as he walked off the field. Neither returned.
  • Bengals LB Keith Rivers broke his jaw when blocked by WR Hines Ward on the opening drive. The first-round draft pick is expected to miss the rest of the season.
  • Cincinnati failed to get a first down on its first four possessions.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Steelers coach Mike Tomlin gives backfield hero Mewelde Moore well-earned congratulations.
 
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin gives backfield hero Mewelde Moore well-earned congratulations. (AP)
 

 

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Sun. Oct. 19Final
10072138
073010
PIT - Pass: B. Roethlisberger (17-28, 216), Rush: M. Moore (20-120)
CIN - Pass: R. Fitzpatrick (21-35, 164), Rec: T. Houshmandzadeh (8-58)
Scoring Summary
1ST QUARTER
TDMewelde Moore, 2 Yd pass from Ben Roethlisberger (Jeff Reed kick is good), 9:56. Drive: 9 plays, 75 yards in 5:04.
FGJeff Reed 21 Yd, 0:42. Drive: 8 plays, 27 yards in 2:35.
2ND QUARTER
TDChad Johnson, 5 Yd pass from Ryan Fitzpatrick (Dave Rayner kick is good), 0:36. Drive: 14 plays, 92 yards in 4:48.
3RD QUARTER
TDMewelde Moore, 13 Yd run (Jeff Reed kick is good), 8:29. Drive: 6 plays, 55 yards in 2:47.
FGDave Rayner 26 Yd, 2:38. Drive: 12 plays, 49 yards in 5:51.
4TH QUARTER
TDNate Washington, 50 Yd pass from Ben Roethlisberger (Jeff Reed kick is good), 8:17. Drive: 6 plays, 91 yards in 2:53.
TDMewelde Moore, 2 Yd run (Jeff Reed kick is good), 5:17. Drive: 3 plays, 52 yards in 1:36.
TDHines Ward, 16 Yd pass from Byron Leftwich (Jeff Reed kick is good), 1:54. Drive: 6 plays, 34 yards in 2:56.
Players of the Game

C. Johnson
Rec 8
Yds 52
Avg 6.5
TD 1

M. Moore
Rush 20
Yds 120
Avg 6.0
TD 2
 
Pittsburgh
PassingCP/ATYDSTDINT
B. Roethlisberger17/2821620
B. Leftwich3/33410
RushingATTYDSTDLG
M. Moore20120224
N. Washington1606
G. Russell4003
B. Roethlisberger2-100
ReceivingRECYDSTDLG
S. Holmes589032
H. Ward460129
N. Washington257150
M. Moore51417
H. Miller21307
L. Sweed111011
M. Spaeth1606
Cincinnati
PassingCP/ATYDSTDINT
R. Fitzpatrick21/3516410
J. Palmer3/41100
RushingATTYDSTDLG
C. Benson1452015
K. Watson41706
R. Fitzpatrick415010
ReceivingRECYDSTDLG
T. Houshmandzadeh858019
C. Johnson85219
C. Henry344018
C. Benson110010
A. Chatman2805
J. Simpson1202
K. Watson1101
Complete Player Stats
Other Games
DEN 7 Final
NE 41
SEA 10 Final
TB 20
CLE 11 Final
WAS 14
NYJ 13 Final
OAK 16
IND 14 Final
GB 34
DET 21 Final
HOU 28
DAL 14 Final
STL 34
SF 17 Final
NYG 29
BAL 27 Final
MIA 13
TEN 34 Final
KC 10
MIN 41 Final
CHI 48
NO 7 Final
CAR 30
SD 14 Final
BUF 23