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Linebacker LaMarr Woodley, whose interception late in the second quarter helped Pittsburgh tie the game just before the half, figures the Steelers simply returned to a formula that’s made them one of the most consistent teams in the league over the last decade.

“We got off the field on third down,” Woodley said. “We got a turnover that put the offense in good field position to put points on the board. At the end of the day, that’s all you ask. We put pressure on their quarterback. Ike Taylor did a good job against their top receiver.”

Pittsburgh held the Bengals to 105 yards on their final 10 possessions. While the Steelers didn’t register a sack, they forced Dalton into an off night and shut down Cincinnati’s running game after getting gashed on an early 80-yard touchdown drive.

It was a needed return to normalcy for Pittsburgh, which improved to 12-2 at Paul Brown Stadium while sending the Bengals to their third straight loss. The Steelers play six of their final 10 games at Heinz Field — where they’ve been nearly unbeatable the last two-plus seasons — and with injury-ravaged Baltimore (5-2) suddenly looking very vulnerable, Pittsburgh appears right back in it.

Then again, the Steelers never really thought they were out of it. Sure, they needed to make up some ground. They hope arguably their best game of the season is just the start.

“We got ourselves into a hole,” Tomlin said. “The first thing we’ve got to do is stop digging. We did that; now we’ve got to build on it.”