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Mendenhall, who has been erratic, gave the Steelers the lead with a 3-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter. He upped the lead to 14-0 with a nifty 5-yard cutback run, the 28th touchdown of his career, moving him into fifth on the team’s all-time list.

The Bengals continued to self-destruct on the ensuing kickoff. Pittsburgh’s Stevenson Sylvester stripped Brandon Tate and the Steelers recovered at the Cincinnati 23. Roethlisberger needed just three plays to hit Wallace for a 12-yard score to make it 21-0.

Dalton found Green for an 11-yard score to briefly give the Bengals life, but Brown extinguished any momentum with a scintillating punt return just before the half that gave the Steelers a 28-7 lead at the break.

The Bengals came in with an NFL-record three double-digit second half rallies, but not this time. Playing with a lead Pittsburgh’s defense teed off on Dalton, who was removed from the game in the fourth quarter as a protective measure by Lewis with the Bengals hopelessly behind.