for this game

Big Ben powers Steelers past Cincy

Dec 5, 2011 - 12:25 AM Pittsburgh, PA (Sports Network) - Ben Roethlisberger threw a pair of touchdown passes while becoming the Steelers' all-time completions leader in a 35-7 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals.

Roethlisberger completed 15-of-23 passes for 176 yards, giving him 2,026 career completions. Terry Bradshaw owned the previous record with 2,025.

Mike Wallace was on the receiving end of both of Roethlisberger's touchdown throws, while Rashard Mendenhall added 60 yards and two scores on 16 carries for Pittsburgh (9-3).

The win gave the Steelers a two-game lead over the Bengals (7-5) for the top spot in the AFC North. But with wins by Pittsburgh and the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, the Steelers sit in second place in the division behind Baltimore despite the teams having the same record.

The Ravens defeated Pittsburgh in both meetings this year to hold the tiebreaker.

Andy Dalton completed 11-of-24 passes for 135 yards and a score for Cincinnati before leaving the game in the fourth quarter with a hip injury.

A.J. Green paced all receivers with six catches for 87 yards and a touchdown in a losing effort.

After holding the Steelers to a three-and-out on the opening possession of the game, Dalton hit Green for a 43-yard strike to move the Bengals deep into Pittsburgh territory.

The Bengals looked to have the first score of the game four plays later on a four-yard touchdown grab by Jermaine Gresham, but Cincinnati was whistled for a penalty to negate the TD.

Mike Nugent then had his 33-yard field goal attempt blocked to keep the game scoreless.

"I thought our special teams really provided us a shot in the arm for us there in the early going," Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said. "Splash plays in all three phases is what you got to have."

Pittsburgh later took the ball at their own 13 after a couple of punts. A 45- yard catch-and-run by Antonio Brown moved the ball past midfield and Mendenhall capped the nine-play march with a three-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter.

The Bengals managed just two yards on their next touch and the Steelers took the ball back at their own 35. Cincinnati's Chris Crocker was called for a pass interference penalty on first down, resulting in a 45-yard gain. Mendenhall rumbled in for a five-yard score three plays later to extend the Steelers' lead.

On the ensuing kickoff, Brandon Tate had the ball slapped out of his hands and Pittsburgh recovered the loose ball at the Cincinnati 23. Roethlisberger took advantage of the gaffe by finding Wallace in the back of the end zone for a 21-0 Pittsburgh lead.

The Bengals were able get on the board with an 11-yard strike from Dalton to Green to cap a 10-play, 80-yard drive on their next possession, but Brown returned a punt 60 yards down the right sideline to make it a 28-7 game at the half.

"They beat us in every area today," Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis said. "The game basically got over in the second quarter."

Pittsburgh finalized the rout in the third quarter with Wallace's 19-yard TD grab on the 10th play of a 93-yard drive.

Game Notes

Pittsburgh leads the all-time series between the teams 51-32...Cincinnati fell to 4-3 on the road this season...Pittsburgh wide receiver Hines Ward caught five passes for 30 yards, giving him 12,021 receiving yards in his career. He is the 19th player in NFL history to reach that mark...Steelers linebacker James Harrison recorded three sacks.