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Big Ben throws three TDs in the rain to beat Bengals

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Ben Roethlisberger threw three touchdown passes in the driving rain to lead the Pittsburgh Steelers to a 24-16 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 2. Here's what we learned:

1. With rangy linebacker Ryan Shazier leading the way, the Steelers defense has succeeded in shutting down the ground game through two weeks, turning opposing offenses into one-dimensional attacks. Starting tailbacks Matt Jones and Jeremy Hill have averaged just 23 rushing yards versus Pittsburgh's active front seven. If the defense keeps playing at this level, the Steelers will be playing in January.

2. The intermittent rain was a big factor in a game that featured at least eight drops and several blatant misfires. Roethlisberger did much of his damage during stretches in which the rain subsided. He stared at his throwing hand with annoyance after overthrowing Antonio Brown on one third down. Brown had one bad drop and was on the receiving end of a couple of errant Roethlisberger throws. Credit goes to the Bengals' secondary for minimizing his damage, though. In four games since the start of last season, Brown has averaged six receptions, 73 yards and 0.25 touchdowns versus Cincinnati compared to 8.6 catches, 119 yards and 0.8 touchdowns versus the rest of the league.

3. Although emotions were kept in check throughout, the most intense rivalry of the past couple of years did produce one controversial call late in the game. Down eight points and driving with a chance to tie, Bengals wide receiver Tyler Boyd lost a fumble on a hit from ageless linebacker James Harrison. It appeared on replay that Boyd's knee was down when the ball came loose, but the officials allowed the play to stand. That ruling effectively eliminated any chance of a Cincinnati comeback.

4. The Bengals will be tasked with getting their ground attack on track against Denver's dominant defense in Week 3. Jeremy Hill and Giovani Bernard have combined to average a meager 3.2 yards per carry thus far. In fact, neither back has topped 40 rushing yards in a game. If Hill moved the chains versus the Broncos, defensive play-caller Wade Phillips will unleash his full squadron of vicious edge rushers led by Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware.

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