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Steelers May Be Bad, but Bengals Are Even Worse

October 16, 2000|From Associated Press

PITTSBURGH — In a game that featured 22 punts, the inept Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the totally inept Cincinnati Bengals, 15-0, Sunday.

The Steelers didn't do much after scoring on a 77-yard pass play from Kent Graham to Hines Ward on their second play.

The Bengals didn't do much, period.

The Bengals (0-6) don't have a second-half touchdown, and now they're not scoring in the first half, either.

They have scored 37 points in six games and have been outscored, 65-3, in the second half.

Their three shutout losses are a team record, with 10 games remaining.

The Bengals could not do anything right Sunday, as typified by fake field-goal try in the second quarter. Punter Daniel Pope, the holder, tried to run but ran into a defender and had to pitch the ball to kicker Neil Rackers, who was dragged down for a five-yard loss.

The Bengals crossed midfield only twice.

With 6:32 to play, the Bengal offense finally scored--for the Steelers. Backup quarterback Scott Mitchell, who had earlier thrown an interception that led to a Steeler field goal, was sacked by Joey Porter for a safety that made the score 15-0.

Akili Smith, the NFL's lowest-rated passer, was replaced late in the third quarter after completing 10 of 20 passes for 97 yards in his ninth consecutive loss as a starter. Mitchell completed four of 16 passes for 39 yards with two interceptions.

The Steelers (3-3) won their third in a row after starting 0-3. The victory was only the Steelers' third in 13 home games and their first in three years at home against the Bengals, who have only six victories in their last 36 games.

Graham started even though Kordell Stewart had led the Steelers to two consecutive road victories and had completed 27 of 42 passes. But Stewart had not been able to throw the long ball.

Graham, sidelined before because of a hip injury, was successful going long on his first throw. Ward bounced off safety Cory Hall at the 50 before completing the Steelers' longest scoring pass play in nearly five years.

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