Bengals' Dre Kirkpatrick: Steelers 'ain't better than us'

The Cincinnati Bengals entered Week 6 with an opportunity to gain control in the AFC North with a win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The Bengals also had a chance to make a statement against their arch nemesis, but a 28-21 loss in the waning seconds of the game left a bitter taste with two Cincinnati veterans.

"They ain't better than us. Period," cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick said, via Fletcher Page of the Cincinnati Enquirer.

Defensive end Carlos Dunlap echoed his teammate.

"Only thing is frustrating is that we lost to Pittsburgh," Dunlap said. "They didn't beat us, in my opinion."

The final score provides evidence to the contrary, of course. But the angst over the defeat likely has a lot to do with the Bengals' inability to figure out a way to defeat the Steelers in a rivalry where Pittsburgh owns a 63-35 mark in the all-time series.

Dunlap has been with the Bengals since 2010, while Fitzpatrick joined the team in 2012. The two have endured a current seven-game losing streak to the Steelers, and the last time the Bengals secured a win over their division rival occurred on Nov. 1, 2015.

Still, the Bengals had every chance to snap the losing streak Sunday after taking a 21-20 lead with 1:21 remaining in the game.

The defense, however, allowed the Steelers to put together a seven-play, 77-yard drive, which quarterback Ben Roethlisberger capped off with a 31-yard scoring strike to wide receiver Antonio Brown with 15 seconds remaining in the game.

Fitzpatrick also helped the Steelers keep the drive alive with a defensive holding penalty on a third-and-10 play. Roethlisberger would throw the game-winning touchdown pass two plays later.

"Sucks. Sucks," Kirkpatrick said. "I can imagine how we feel. Imagine how the fans feel. It sucks."

The loss has the Bengals tied with the Baltimore Ravens (4-2) atop the division, a game ahead of the Steelers (3-2-1).

And for now, the Bengals can only deal with knowing they let victory escape while attempting to apply lessons learned to Week 7's matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs.

"We did enough to win the football game and we didn't finish," Dunlap said. "We've got to figure out why, address it, take that with us, let this game go and move on to K.C."

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