The Star Democrat

Mixon’s career day helps Bengals rout Steelers

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CINCINNATI (AP) — Joe Mixon rushed for a careerhigh 165 yards and two touchdowns, Joe Burrow scrambled ran for a score and passed for another one and the Cincinnati Bengals crushed the Pittsburgh Steelers 41-10, sweeping the season series for the first time since 2009.

Mixon, coming off a rugged 123-yard, two-TD performanc­e in a win over Las Vegas last week, pounded away for 117 yards in the first half and helped the Bengals cruise to a third straight win over their AFC North rival after losing 11 straight in the series.

The Steelers (5-5-1) are winless in their past three games. The Bengals (7-4), dominated by Pittsburgh for so many years, have stamped themselves as a legitimate playoff contender.

Cincinnati scored on its first four drives, and former Steeler Mike Hilton returned a Ben Roethlisbe­rger pass for a 24-yard touchdown late in the first half to push the Cincinnati lead to 31-3 at the intermissi­on.

The Bengals defense kept Roethlisbe­rger from getting any real traction until it was too late. He was picked off twice and sacked twice, finishing with 263 yards. His 15-yard TD pass to Pat Freiermuth came late in the game.

Burrow was 20 for 24 for 190 yards, throwing a 32yard touchdown pass to Tee Higgins, and scrambling and diving for an 8-yard TD to open the scoring in the first quarter for the Bengals.

Higgins had six catches for 114 yards and a TD.

INJURIES Steelers: LB Robert Spillane suffered a knee injury and didn’t return . ... CB Joe Haden was ruled out (foot). ... OL J.C. Hassenauer (pectoral)

and TE Eric Ebron (knee) were put on injured reserve on Saturday.

Bengals: OL Riley Reiff suffered an ankle injury in the third quarter and was questionab­le to return . ... OL Trey Hopkins left in the third quarter with an ankle injur y.

UP NEXT

Steelers: Host Baltimore next Sunday.

Bengals: Host the Los Angeles Chargers next Sunday.

Patriots 36, Titans 13 FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — Mac Jones threw two touchdown passes, New England’s defense forced four turnovers and the Patriots earned their sixth straight win, rolling past Tennessee..

The victory snapped New England’s two-game losing skid against the Titans. The Patriots hadn’t beaten Tennessee since former Patriots linebacker Mike Vrabel took over as coach in 2018. New England (8-4) improved to 6-1 against AFC opponents this season.

Jones completed 23 of 32 passes for 310 yards. Kendrick Bourne had both of the Patriots’ TD receptions, finishing with five catches for 61 yards.

The Titans (8-4) stayed close early, but couldn’t survive a bevy of errors that included three fumbles by their running backs and an intercepti­on by Ryan Tannehill. He finished 11 of 21 for 93 yards and a touchdown.

Playing without star Derrick Henry for the fourth straight game, the Titans had mixed results from their rushing attack.

Dontrell Hilliard and D’Onta Foreman became the first Tennessee backs other than Henry to rush for 100 yards since 2018. Hilliard carried 12 times for a career-high 131 yards and a 68-yard TD. But he also a fumble in the second quarter that set up a Patriots field goal.

Foreman rushed 19 times for 109 yards and broke free for a 34-yard rush in the third quarter. But it, too, ended in turnover after he was stripped from behind by J.C. Jackson.

New England led 16-13 at the half, scoring on its first four possession­s of the game.

The Patriots took an early lead following a disastrous start by the Titans. It included a penalty on their kickoff return, a 1-yard run loss on their first play from scrimmage and giving up a sack on third down. Tennessee then had to punt twice after being penalized for an illegal shift.

It all added up to a short field for the Patriots, who started on the Titans 37. New England needed only nine plays to go up 7-0 following a 4-yard TD pass from Jones to Bourne.

The Titans bounced back on their second series, eating up more than eight minutes on a 14-play, 74-yard drive that culminated with a 1-yard touchdown reception by Nick Westbrook-Ikhine. Randy Bullock missed the extra point, but the TD ended a streak of 77 consecutiv­e points the Patriots had scored against opponents.

Trailing 13-6 in the second, Tennessee was driving when Davon Godchaux stripped Hilliard, causing the ball to roll free. Kyle Dugger fell on it, giving the Patriots another short field.

Jones had a chance to turn the turnover into a touchdown but missed a wideopen Hunter Henry just outside of the end zone. Nick Folk connected on his third field goal of the half to make it 16-6.

Giants 13, Eagles 7 EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — The New York Giants’ defense rose up to intercept Jalen Hurts three times and held Philadelph­ia to a season-low in points in beating the error-prone Eagles.

Daniel Jones hit Philadelph­ia native Chris Myarick with a 1-yard score and Graham Gano kicked field goals of 35 and 39 yards as the Giants (4-7) somewhat responded to the firing of offensive coordinato­r Jason Garrett by ending the Eagles’ two-game winning streak.

The Eagles (5-7) were their own worst enemy. They had four turnovers, with running back Boston Scott losing a fumble that Julian Love recovered at the New York 40 with 1:34 to play.

The Eagles had one more chance in the final 1:11. They got a first down at the Giants 27 and had to spike the ball. Hurts threw three passes and nearly had Jalen Reagor for a TD on second down with a sideline pass the receiver got his hands on before dropping. A pass to Reagor at the goal line on fourth-and-10 also was incomplete.

Hurts had thrown five intercepti­ons all season until finding cornerback Darnay Holmes, linebacker Tae Crowder and safety Xavier McKinney. The one by Crowder hurt most, a goalline pick on the final play of the first half.

Scott had scored on a 1-yard run on the first play of the fourth quarter to get Philadelph­ia within 10-7. However, the player who has seven career TDs against the Giants had the big miscue later on.

 ?? AP PHOTO ?? Cincinnati running back Joe Mixon (28) celebrates after scoring a touchdown during Sunday’s first half against Pittsburgh.
AP PHOTO Cincinnati running back Joe Mixon (28) celebrates after scoring a touchdown during Sunday’s first half against Pittsburgh.

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