CINCINNATI — Devlin Hodges provided the spark, Chris Boswell the leg and the defense held down the fort as the Steelers got back into the win column with an at-times ugly 16-10 win over the Cincinnati Bengals.
Hodges threw a 79-yard touchdown to James Washington on his third pass attempt of the game to give the Steelers a 10-7 lead after starter Mason Rudolph was benched early in the third quarter.
The Bengals tied things up with a field goal, but Chris Boswell gave the visitors the lead for good with a 47-yard boot into the north end zone of Paul Brown Stadium.
It looked like the visitors would get a chance to tie things up with another field goal, but rookie linebacker Devin Bush stripped the ball out of the hands of Cincinnati wide receiver Tyler Boyd inside the Steelers’ 10-yard line and safety Minkah Fitzpatrick recovered.
Boswell added another field goal with 1:38 to play. Bud Dupree ended any hope of a Cincinnati comeback, when he sacked Bengals quarterback Ryan Finley, forced a fumble and recovered it himself deep inside Bengals territory.
Boyd provided the Bengals with their only offense of the game, scoring on a 15-yard pass from Finley in the second quarter. Boyd went up over Steelers safety Terrell Edmunds for an athletic 47-yard catch to set up his score on the next play.
The Steelers struggled to move the ball under Rudolph. He was intercepted and the Steelers punted four times while contributing just one field goal after a long pass to Deon Cain.
The Steelers have now won five or their last six games and are in the sixth and final playoff position in the AFC. They’ll return home to face Cleveland next Sunday.