The Times-Tribune

PLAYOFF PICTURE

Steelers’ Boswell ties team record with 6 field goals Pittsburgh maintains control of AFC North with 5th consecutiv­e win over Bengals.

- BY JOE KAY

Giants, Steelers keep pace in playoff race. Sports,

CINCINNATI — The Steelers took control of the AFC North by doing a little bit of everything during a monthlong winning streak: throwing it, running it, playing some steely defense.

Their fifth straight victory came a whole new way. Call it the kick-6.

Chris Boswell tied the club record with six field goals, and Ben Roethlisbe­rger threw a touchdown pass in the fourth quarter Sunday, rallying Pittsburgh to a 24-20 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals that kept the Steelers in control of the division.

“We’ve said we’ll win the game how we have to win it,” Roethlisbe­rger said.

In Cincinnati, they win every which way.

The Steelers (9-5) won their fourth in a row at Paul Brown Stadium, taking advantage of more meltdown moments by the defending division champions. And now they can clinch the North by beating the Ravens (8-6) at Heinz Field next Sunday.

“A lot of guys are treating this like it’s the playoffs already,” linebacker Ryan Shazier said.

The Bengals (5-8-1) had some playoff flashbacks.

Last January, Cincinnati melted down in the final minute for an 18-16 loss to the Steelers at Paul Brown

Stadium in the opening round of the playoffs. Penalties on Vontaze Burfict and Adam “Pacman” Jones set up Boswell’s 35-yard field goal in the closing seconds.

Burfict and Jones got personal fouls again on Sunday as the animosity carried over. Burfict tackled Roethlisbe­rger after he got rid of the ball, and Jones was flagged for taunting.

“They let Pittsburgh do whatever they wanted to,” Bengals cornerback Dre Kirkpatric­k fumed. “They should’ve been calling stuff on them, too.”

Running back Jeremy Hill had an early take-that moment as the Bengals scored on each of their first four possession­s for a 20-6 lead. As part of his touchdown celebratio­n, he grabbed a Terrible Towel a fan threw on the field, tried to tear it, and then threw it to the ground.

Boswell brought them back kick by kick, accounting for Pittsburgh’s first 15 points with field goals of 45, 49, 49, 40, 49 and 30 yards into a gusting wind.

“They didn’t look pretty, they didn’t go over by much, but they went in,” said Boswell, who got a game ball.

In the end, there was yet another Bengals meltdown . They had penalties on four consecutiv­e plays — including Pat Sims’ personal foul — that set up Roethlisbe­rger’s 24-yard touchdown pass to Eli Rogers for a 24-20 lead. The Steelers appreciate­d the help.

“You just kind of smirk and move on,” guard Ramon Foster said.

 ?? FRANK VICTORES / ASSOCIATED PRESS ?? Pittsburgh Steelers kicker Chris Boswell, right, watches his field goal alongside holder Jordan Berry.
FRANK VICTORES / ASSOCIATED PRESS Pittsburgh Steelers kicker Chris Boswell, right, watches his field goal alongside holder Jordan Berry.
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