Top 50 Moment: Bengals Win against Steelers Sets up AFC North Championship
October 20, 2017 03:04 PM
After watching the Steelers win the division eight times since they won the AFC Central, the Bengals once again rule with a Dec. 4, 2005 victory that is as poetic as it is punishing in a 38-31 finish.

Led by the steely-minded, blue-collar approach of their head coach, Pittsburgh native Marvin Lewis, the Bengals weather 474 yards and hostile Heinz Field with a 94-yard kick return from a California kid whose parents are from Cincinnati.

With 9:05 left in the third quarter, Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward has tied the game at 24 with a sliding 20-yard touchdown catch that unleashes the jackal-like cries of 63,044 smelling another AFC North title.

But rookie wide receiver Tab Perry, a sixth-round pick from UCLA, vacuums the crowd of its strength with his Death-Eater kick return. He carries Steelers on his back for the final 30 yards before he sprawls at the 3 to set up running back Rudi Johnson's one-yard touchdown run.

When Johnson runs over Pro Bowl safety Troy Polamalu to finish off a 14-yard touchdown run with 6:09 left in the game, the Bengals' climb back has an exclamation point to go along with their first North title.

The win lifts the Bengals to 9-3 and all but clinches the division with a two-game lead over Pittsburgh and four to play.

The Bengals offensive line outmaneuvers former head coach Dick LeBeau, now the Steelers defensive coordinator with one of the NFL's most feared schemes. Quarterback Carson Palmer gets sacked only once while throwing for three touchdowns and no interceptions. That's the tale of the game. The Bengals pick Ben Roethlisberger three times on the way to leading the NFL in turnovers in turning over the division.

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