Boswell's 53-yard FG is good, the Steelers prevail 23-10.
Steelers vs. Bengals score, takeaways: Mitch Trubisky, Pittsburgh sink Cincy in OT for wild Week 1 win
The Steelers survived a wild season opener
CINCINNATI -- A wild game had a somewhat normal finish. After both teams missed game-winning field goal attempts, Steelers kicker Chris Boswell drilled a 53-yard attempt on the final play of overtime to lift Pittsburgh to a 23-20 win in Cincinnati. Two big completions from Mitch Trubisky to Pat Freiermuth on Pittsburgh's final possession set up Boswell's game-winning kick.
With Clark Harris, the Bengals' long snapper, injured, Cincinnati missed its game-winning field goal attempt in overtime. Pittsburgh, however, was unable to make its first game-winning attempt when Boswell's 55-yard attempt hit the left crossbar 70 seconds after Evan McPherson missed a 29-yard attempt. McPherson, who lost Harris during regulation, had his game-winning point-after attempt blocked by Minkah Fitzpatrick with two seconds left in regulation to force overtime. Prior to the miss, the Bengals tied the score on Joe Burrow's six-yard touchdown pass to Ja'Marr Chase.
The visiting Steelers, aided by four Bengals turnovers, took a 17-6 lead over the defending AFC champions at halftime. Pittsburgh's defense recorded three first-half interceptions off Burrow, including Fitzpatrick's 31-yard pick-six in the game's opening minutes. The Steelers stretched their lead to 17-3 after Trubisky hit Najee Harris on a 1-yard touchdown pass midway through the second quarter. The score was set up by T.J. Watt's interception of Burrow, who prior to Sunday's game had never thrown multiple interceptions in a first half.
The only score of the third quarter was Burrow's two-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Boyd that was followed by Burrow's two-point completion to Mike Thomas. Despite Burrow throwing his fourth interception of the game six minutes into the fourth quarter, the Bengals' deficit was just six points when Cincinnati took over at its own 30-yard-line with 6:05 left. From there, the Bengals drove to the Steelers' 2-yard-line before Burrow's fourth-down pass for Chase was broken up in the end zone by Cam Sutton. Cincinnati found the end zone on its next possession before Fitzpatrick's blocked point-after attempt forced overtime.
Here's a full breakdown from what transpired in Cincinnati:
Why the Steelers won
The Steelers' opportunistic defense won the game. Pittsburgh's offense did just enough to get the Steelers to the finish line. The Steelers enjoyed a stellar game from Fitzpatrick, who reinforced his status as one of the NFL's best defensive backs.
Why the Bengals lost
Five turnovers is almost impossible to overcome, especially when you don't force any on our end. The Bengals were unable to take care of the ball in the first half and were unable to consistently protect Burrow, who spent a large portion of the day on his back.
The Steelers were in control after Watt sacked Burrow midway through the second quarter with Pittsburgh ahead 17-6. Burrow and Chase connected for a 24-yard gain on the next play to help set up the Bengals' first score. The game was a slugfest from that point forward.
Play of the game
After missing his first attempt, Boswell was true on his second field goal attempt in overtime. Boswell made the kick despite considerable wind blowing from left to right.
Fitzpatrick's blocked point-after attempt also deserves mention, as the two-time All-Pro safety was able to get just enough of the ball to force overtime.
Big injuries to both teams
Both Pittsburgh and Cincinnati suffered notable injuries. Bengals wideout Tee Higgins left the game for good after suffering a head injury in the second quarter. Higgins, who caught two passes for 27 yards prior to his injury, was initially questionable to return as he was evaluated for a concussion.
Harris and Watt left the game during the fourth quarter. Watt suffered a pec injury, while Harris left the game with an injured foot.
Trubisky solid in Steelers debut
The former Bears quarterback did not light up the stat sheet in his Steelers debut. He went 21 of 38 for 194 yards along with his touchdown pass to Harris. His two biggest completions in regulation were to tight ends Zach Gentry (32 yards) and Pat Freiermuth (31 yards). Trubisky threw well in overtime, completing a 25-yard pass to Diontae Johnson prior to Boswell's missed field goal attempt. His completions of 26 and 10 yards to Freiermuth moments later set up Boswell's game-winning score.
Offensive lines struggle
Both offensive lines struggled despite both Pittsburgh and Cincinnati adding talent via free agency this offseason. The Bengals' rebuilt line struggled to protect Burrow, who was sacked seven times by the Steelers' defense. Three of those sacks were tallied by Steelers third-year outside linebacker Alex Highsmith.
Pittsburgh's offensive line struggled to pry open holes for Harris, who finished the game with 23 yards on 10 carries. The Steelers' leading rusher was receiver Chase Claypool, who gained 36 yards on six carries.
The Steelers will begin the home portion of their schedule next Sunday against the Patriots. Pittsburgh last defeated New England in Week 15 of the 2018 season, a 17-10 win at Heinz Field. Cincinnati will head to Dallas to face the Cowboys for its first road game of the campaign. The Bengals have lost four straight against the Cowboys, including a 30-7 decision back in December of 2020. Cincinnati's last win against Dallas took place in 2004, when Carson Palmer quarterbacked the Bengals to a 26-3 win.
Bengals forced to punt after Burrow is sacked by Maulet on third down.
Hit the left crossbar. Bengals take over. What a crazy, crazy, game.
Boswell to attempt a 55-yard attempt.
25-yard completion from Trubisky to Johnson gives the Steelers the ball on their own 45 with 3:28 left in regulation.
Clapool unable to hang onto the ball on third down, forcing a Steelers punt.
Steelers get the ball to start overtime and Jaylen Warren gains little on a first down run attempt.
The point-after is blocked, so we're headed to overtime.
Mike Thomas drops the ball. Setting up a dramatic last play.
Flag thrown in the end zone, giving the Bengals a first and goal.
Chase appeared to give the Bengals the lead by was out of bounds in the end zone.
Bengals have 60 yards to travel with 1:27 left in the game.
Cam Sutton breaks up the Bengals' fourth and goal pass. Flag on the field.
Defensive holding negates T.J. Watt's third-down sack of Burrow, as the Bengals' drive has now reached Pittsburgh's 24-yard-line.
Najee Harris rips off his best run of the day, an 11-yard carry. As the Steelers' offense picks up a rare first down.
Interception by Witherspoon after Bengals go for it on fourth down. LS Clark Harris is out with an injury so Bengals had to go for it.
Steelers' C Mason Cole is questionable to return with an ankle injury. He's been replaced by J.C. Haussenauer.
Boyd has stepped up with Higgins out. Makes a 22-yard catch on a free play (Steelers were offside) as Bengals cross midfield with 9 minutes left.
Trubisky shows his athleticism on third down. Bengals bring heavy pressure, Trubisky quickly rolls out before throwing deep to Diontae Johnson. The pass was too high, not wasn't in jeopardy of being picked off. Boswell drills a 48-yarder as Steelers increase their lead to 20-14.
Nice third-down catch by Diontae Johnson to give the Steelers a first down. They're in Boswell's range now.
Steelers CB Levi Wallace is questionable to return with an ankle injury. Bengals lost Tee Higgins earlier in the game when he suffered a head injury in the second quarter.
End of third, Steelers ahead 17-14. Bengals score the only points of the third and will have the ball when the fourth quarter begins.
Steelers punt once again. But Harvin boots a 53-yard punt so Bengals start this drive at their own 9 after starting the previous drive inside Pittsburgh territory.
Trubisky runs for a first down but not sure how he held onto the ball as Hendrickson crushed him from behind.
Trubisky with a shaky start to this drive. Had Pickens open but either didn't see him or didn't want to risk it. Instead takes a two-yard loss.
Burrow hits Thomas to make it a 17-14 game with 4:41 left. Steelers offense needs to show if can do something on this drive.
Burrow hits Pittsburgh native Tyler Boyd for the Bengals first TD of the 2022 season. 9-play, 46-yard drive.
Burrow to Chase for 24 yards on 2nd-and-14 after T.J. Watt's sack. Bengals threatening to score their first TD of the game. Chase up to 82 yards on five catches.
Bengals already in McPherson's range. Despite their four turnovers, Bengals can make this a one-score game assuming they don't lose any ground here.
Bengals playing the field position game now. This is a big drive for them as they take over in Steelers territory.