CINCINNATI (AP) — Chris Boswell kicked a 53-yard field goal as time expired in overtime and the Pittsburgh Steelers overcame T.J. Watt’s injury late in the fourth quarter to beat the Cincinnati Bengals 23-20 in a sloppy season opener for both teams Sunday.
Watt had one of four interceptions off Joe Burrow, who rebounded from a lousy start and rallied Cincinnati from a 17-6 halftime deficit. His 6-yard touchdown pass to Ja’Marr Chase tied it at 20 with 2 seconds left in regulation, but the game went to overtime after Minkah Fitzpatrick blocked Evan McPherson’s point-after try.
McPherson and Boswell missed potential winning field goals in overtime before Steelers quarterback Mitch Trubisky completed passes of 9, 26 and 10 yards in the final 56 seconds.
Watt, the Defensive Player of the Year, left the field and headed to the locker room shortly before the game went to overtime with a pectoral injury. Before that, he was his usual disruptive self, with a sack and a pick.
Burrow’s four interceptions were a career worst, and he was sacked seven times in front of what was supposed to be an improved offensive line.
Burrow didn’t play in the preseason games as he recovered from an appendectomy, and he got a rude welcome back to the field. Alex Highsmith made the first of his three sacks on Cincinnati’s first offensive play, and Fitzpatrick jumped Tyler Boyd’s route the next snap and returned it 31 yards for a pick-6.
McPherson made a 59-yard field goal in the first quarter, but Watt made a leaping interception at the line on the next series. That set up Trubisky’s 2-yard TD pass to Najee Harris for a 17-3 edge.
Trubisky, the first quarterback to start for the Steelers after Ben Roethlisberger’s retirement, was 21 for 38 for 194 yards and the short TD pass to Harris as first-round pick Kenny Pickett watched from the sideline.
The Bengals wasted a solid performance by the their defense, which limited the big plays and did a good job containing running back Harris, who finished with 23 yards on 10 carries before leaving late with a foot injury.
Chase had 10 catches for 129 yards for the Bengals.
Burrow was 33 for 53 for 338 yards and two touchdowns.
Steelers: CB Levi Wallace left in the second half with an ankle injury and didn’t return. … OL Mason Cole suffered an ankle injury in the second half and didn’t return.
Bengals: WR Tee Higgins left with a concussion from a hard hit by several Steelers. … LS Clark Harris went out with a biceps injury.
Steelers: At New England next Sunday.
Bengals: At Dallas next Sunday.
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