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September 17, 2013

Rookie helps Bengalshold back Steelers

CINCINNATI (AP) — Running back Giovani Bernard scored his first two NFL touchdowns, one of them on a short pass that he turned into a 27-yard score, and the Cincinnati Bengals beat Pittsburgh 20-10 last night, extending the Steelers’ early-season misery.

The second-round draft pick had a 7-yard touchdown run in the first half before turning a short pass from Andy Dalton into a third-quarter score — a preview of what the Bengals (1-1) could become with a pass-catching threat out of the backfield.

First-round pick Tyler Eifert also had a big play, making a 61-yard catch that set up Bernard’s touchdown run.

The rookies provided the bright spots for the Bengals, who all but abandoned the run and left the game in Dalton’s hands. He had another up-and-down showing against a defense that has given him fits with its blitzes.

Dalton repeatedly missed open receivers while going 22 of 39 for 248 yards. His career high for attempts is 46 in a loss at Cleveland last year.

Ben Roethlisberger got Pittsburgh’s offense moving late in the second quarter, completing all five of his passes on a touchdown drive that pulled the Steelers into a 10-all tie.

Penned up for most of the half, Roethlisberger finally found his touch by completing passes of 19 and 43 yards to Emmanuel Sanders. His 1-yard throw to Derek Moye — caught over Leon Hall — tied it with 1:54 left in the half.

The Steelers fell to 0-2 for the first time since 2002. An injury-depleted offense couldn’t put drives together consistently, allowing the Bengals to wear down their defense.

The Bengals were coming off that loss at Chicago that saw them play impressively for three quarters, then fall apart at the end, losing because of penalties and turnovers. One of the NFL’s top defenses failed to get a sack, a particular disappointment.

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