Tue, Nov 23, 2004 - Page 20 News List

Bengals get run over by Steelers' Bus

AMERICAN FOOTBALL Pittsburgh's Jerome Bettis ran up a storm while QB Ben Roethlisberger was sacked by Cincinnati seven times in the game

AP , CINCINNATI, OHIOAP, COLUMBUS, OHIO

Wide receiver Santonio Holmes of Ohio State dives into the endzone for a touchdown over cornerback Marlin Jackson of Michigan during the third quarter at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio on Saturday. Ohio State upset Michigan 37-21. Buckeyes quarterback Troy Smith ran for 145 yards.

PHOTO: AFP

Jerome "The Bus" Bettis ran for 129 yards and Pittsburgh's blitzing defense created havoc in the second half in a 19-14 win over Cincinnati on Sunday.

Pittsburgh (9-1) overcame an out-of-sync first half and extended its winning streak to eight. It's the best start for the Steelers since 1978, when they had an identical mark en route to their third Super Bowl win in five years.

Ben Roethlisberger, who has earned comparisons to Terry Bradshaw during his remarkable streak of eight straight wins to start his NFL career, looked much more like a green rookie than a black-and-gold legend.

The Bengals (4-6) came at him from all sides, had a season-high seven sacks and forced him to make poor decisions. Three times he scuttled scoring chances by taking sacks, grounding the ball or fumbling.

It was up to a revitalized Bettis and one of the league's nastiest defenses to pull it out.

With Duce Staley (hamstring) sidelined a third straight game, Bettis came through with his third straight 100-yard game. He repeatedly bowled over tacklers during his 11th 100-yard performance against the Bengals, and he moved ahead of Tony Dorsett for fifth place on the NFL's career rushing list.

Bills 37, Rams 17

In Orchard Park, New York, Drew Bledsoe answered his critics by hitting tight end Mark Campbell for three touchdowns, and Nate Clements returned a punt 86 yards for a score.

It was a dominating effort by a Buffalo team (4-6) that has won four straight at home, but was coming off its worst outing of the season, a 29-6 loss at New England.

Bledsoe answered those calling for rookie J.P. Losman to take over as starter, going 15-of-24 for 185 yards. His only blemish was an interception off Lee Evans' hand in the first quarter.

Vikings 22, Lions 19

In Minneapolis, Daunte Culpepper guided the Vikings on another second-half comeback, and this time the defense was good enough to make the rally count.

The Vikings, ending a three-game losing streak, shut out Detroit in the second half and overcame a 12-point deficit in the fourth quarter to beat the sliding Lions.

Culpepper completed 22 of 32 passes for 233 yards, two touchdowns and an interception for Minnesota (6-4), which hounded Joey Harrington in the second half. The Vikings again played without Randy Moss (right hamstring).

Titans 18, Jaguars 15

In Jacksonville, Florida, Steve McNair returned to the lineup for the first time in a month, throwing a touchdown pass and directing two other scoring drives.

McNair finished 18-of-30 for 209 yards despite showing signs of rust. The reigning league co-MVP bruised his chest Sept. 26 against Jacksonville and aggravated the injury a month later against Minnesota.

McNair underthrew was picked off twice and was sacked three times -- including once for a safety with about 9 minutes to play.

Ravens 30, Cowboys 10

In Baltimore, down at halftime and playing without injured running back Jamal Lewis, the Ravens turned to Kyle Boller to ruin an inspired performance by the Dallas defense.

Showing the poise and confidence of a rapidly maturing quarterback, Boller threw two touchdown passes in the third quarter. Boller went 23-for-34 for 232 yards in his third straight game without an interception. The Ravens (7-3) have five wins in their last six games.

Broncos 34, Saints 13

In New Orleans, Reuben Droughns ran for 166 yards and a score, Jake Plummer threw for 224 yards and the Broncos stayed atop the AFC West.

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