Steelers clinch AFC North with win over Bengals
(Reuters) - Antonio Brown caught one long touchdown pass and scored another from a punt return as Pittsburgh beat Cincinnati 27-17 to clinch the AFC North on Sunday.
With both teams already having secured playoff berths, the Steelers earned the AFC’s No. 3 seed and a home playoff game against Baltimore. It is their first division title since 2010.
The Bengals fall to No. 5 and will travel to Indianapolis.
Pittsburgh rose to the occasion behind All-Pro receiver Brown, who finished with 212 total yards.
Brown opened the scoring with a 71-yard punt return in the first quarter and closed it with a clinching 63-yard reception that came with 2:50 left and the Steelers holding a 20-17 lead.
Cincinnati quarterback Andy Dalton came in battling the flu and tossed two touchdowns and two interceptions.
The Bengals took a 10-7 lead in the second quarter before Pittsburgh ran off 13 straight points before halftime, highlighted by quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s 21-yard throw to Martavis Bryant.
Cincinnati pulled to 20-17 early in the fourth on Dalton's touchdown throw to Jermaine Gresham, but would get no closer.
Roethlisberger finished with 317 yards passing but the Steelers suffered a potentially damaging injury to running back Le’Veon Bell, who left in the third quarter with a knee problem and did not return.
(Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by Peter Rutherford)
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