PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Steelers managed only two touchdowns against the NFL's worst-rated defense. It hardly mattered. The Cincinnati Bengals' offense was even worse than their defense.
Dwight Stone dropped three passes, then set up the first of his two scoring catches with a 30-yard run on a reverse in the second quarter and the Steelers beat the Bengals, 20-0, Monday night.
Bengal kicker Jim Breech had his NFL-record streak of scoring in 186 consecutive games stopped. The Bengals' last shutout defeat in a non-strike game was in 1980.
Pittsburgh (4-2) ended a two-game losing streak to gain a first-place tie with Houston in the AFC Central. The Bengals (2-4) lost their fourth in a row.
The Steelers were held without a touchdown in consecutive losses, 17-3 to Green Bay and 17-9 to Cleveland, and they managed only two against the Bengals.
Stone's two touchdowns and Gary Anderson's two field goals were enough production against a Bengal offense that managed only 118 yards, barely outgaining Pittsburgh running back Barry Foster, who had 108 yards in 24 carries.
Bengal quarterback Boomer Esiason, nursing a bruised throwing arm, was ineffective. "We were inept," he said. "I don't think I've ever played in a game where we gained so few yards."