Cincinnati's backup quarterback, who was making his first career start, rolled right and found tight end Drew Sample, who ran over his own teammate at the goal line to score on an 11-yard reception with 10:30 left in the first half, putting the Bengals up 7-3. Sample made sure fellow tight end Mitchell Wilcox wasn't going to stop him from tallying his third career receiving touchdown.
Cincinnati took advantage of some good plays and a little luck to set up the score. Trayveon Williams took a kickoff back to Cincinnati's 47-yard line to give the Bengals excellent field position. Then wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase was in the right place to catch a deflection in the middle of the field and turn the batted ball into a 31-yard gain to Pittsburgh's 16-yard line.
With Cincinnati trying to find ways to win without starting quarterback Joe Burrow, who is on injured reserve with a torn ligament in his right wrist, every little bit helps.