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Pittsburgh’s eighth straight win over Cincinnati came with eight sacks. The Steelers (1-3) throttled the winless Bengals (0-4), 27-3, to get their first win of the season on “Monday Night Football” in Week 4. Here’s what we learned from the AFC North clash:
1. After a conservative debut last week in which Mason Rudolph threw just two passes past one yard past the line of scrimmage, the thought was Pittsburgh would open up the playbook for the second-year backup and let him air it out. That was only partly right. The Steelers opened up the playbook on Monday night, but Rudolph rarely attempted a deep shot. With James Conner and Jaylen Samuels in the backfield, he didn’t need to. Pittsburgh offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner helped out his young signal-caller by having the offense run through the running backs. Utilizing jet sweeps, the Wildcat and sometimes both on the same play, the Steelers spread out a confuddled Cincinnati front and let the tailbacks work.
Entering the night averaging just 32.3 rush YPG, Conner enjoyed his best night of the short season, racking up 125 total yards and reaching the end zone in the second quarter on a pseudo-pop pass to give Pittsburgh’s first and lasting lead. Samuels, a tight end in college and a Steelers running back, played another position on Monday: quarterback (kind of)! Out of the Wildcat, the second-year back became the first non-QB with at least three completed passes in a game since Terrelle Pryor in 2016 — to be fa
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