CINCINNATI -- The only fans left at Paul Brown Stadium in the final minutes were the ones twirling those yellow towels and celebrating another significant Steelers victory in December.
This one was bigger than most.
Now, it's a four-way race to the top.
"We have a great opportunity in front of us, so I'm going to embrace it," said Bell, who ran for two touchdowns and caught a touchdown pass. "This is the part of the year where things get a little tight, they get more exciting. Everybody in the locker room is excited about this last couple of weeks."
The Bengals (8-4-1) had been in control, up by a game and a half over everyone else. Another meltdown at home against a division rival left it anyone's title.
The defending division champions are in trouble.
Given how they dominated on Sunday, the Steelers figure it very well could be them. They're tied with Baltimore for second place, with Cleveland (7-6) right behind.
Bell steadied Pittsburgh's offense by running for 185 yards, catching six passes for 50 yards and scoring three touchdowns in the second half. He became the sixth player in NFL history to have 200 all-purpose yards in three straight games.
"We ran the same play three or four times in a row and those guys just couldn't stop it," Bell said.
Roethlisberger emerged from a three-game funk by making big plays as well, including the longest touchdown pass in the NFL this season. Up by eight points and backed up on its 6-yard line, Pittsburgh decided to fake a handoff and let Roethlisberger drop into his end zone and throw deep.
Bryant ran past cornerback Leon Hall and caught the ball in stride along the right sideline, reaching the end zone untouched.
"We did a little play-action and I just let it fly," said Roethlisberger, who was 25 of 39 for 350 yards. "I've underthrown him in practice because when he gets running, he's fast. I just put it out there, let him run under it, and he did the rest."
Coming into the game, there were questions about Roethlisberger's passing hand, which he hit on a helmet during a loss to New Orleans a week ago. He was on target all game, his right hand bare in the December cold.
He also made the game-turning mistake.
Dalton fumbled while faking another handoff to Hill, giving Pittsburgh possession at the Cincinnati 24-yard line. Bell ran 13 yards for the touchdown, and Roethlisberger's completion for the conversion gave Pittsburgh a 28-21 lead.
NOTES: Steelers CB Ike Taylor was matched on Green despite injuries. He left in the fourth quarter with an injured left knee and right shoulder. ... Roethlisberger, who grew up in Ohio, is 18-4 in games in Cincinnati and Cleveland, including 10-2 at Paul Brown Stadium. ... LB James Harrison was inactive with a sore knee. ... The Bengals tried a fake punt in the first half that came up short. ... It was Green's second career 100-yard game against Pittsburgh and the 20th of his career, tied for second in Bengals history with Isaac Curtis.
Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press