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Pittsburgh Steelers physical with Cincinnati Bengals

The Pittsburgh Steelers have gotten really good at making people who count them out look really bad in recent seasons.

If Sunday night is any indication, they're getting ready to do it again.

Behind a smothering defense and revitalized running game, the Steelers overpowered the Cincinnati Bengals in a 24-17 win at Paul Brown Stadium.

The Steelers (3-3) entered Week 7 ranked 31st in the NFL in rushing, but they gashed the Bengals for 167 yards on the ground. They managed that despite missing both Rashard Mendenhall and Isaac Redman, not to mention Pro Bowl center Maurkice Pouncey.

Jonathan Dwyer -- third on the depth chart at running back -- led the way with 122 yards on just 17 carries. The Steelers dominated in time of possession, holding the ball for more than 37 minutes.

When the Bengals got their chance on offense, they struggled to decipher Dick LeBeau's scheme. Andy Dalton was ineffective, barely eclipsing 100 yards passing. A.J. Green was covered well by Ike Taylor, who also got help over the top to neutralize one of the game's best receivers. The Bengals were outgained 431-185 in total yardage.

After a fast start, the Bengals went right back to looking like the little brother in the AFC North. The Steelers, meanwhile, looked like a team reacquainting themselves with an identity that's served them well in the past.

Follow Dan Hanzus on Twitter @danhanzus.

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