LOCAL NFL SUNDAY:
Le’Veon Bell rushed for 144 yards and two touchdowns, and the Steelers beat the Ravens 26-9 on Sunday in a duel for first place in the AFC North.
Though held to a touchdown over the final 30 minutes, Pittsburgh (3-1) mounted enough of an attack before halftime to earn its first win in Baltimore since 2012.
Coming into the game, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was asked to identify the problem with a Pittsburgh offense that had produced only six touchdowns in 12 quarters.
“The quarterback needs to play better,” he said.
Roethlisberger went 18 for 30 for 216 yards and a touchdown. Bell did more than his share, carrying the ball 35 times to help the Steelers amass 381 yards in offense.
The Ravens (2-2), meanwhile, looked every bit like the 32nd-ranked offense in the NFL. Baltimore trailed 19-0 at halftime, generated only 154 yards through three quarters and stumbled through a second straight game with only one touchdown.
Steelers rookie running back and McDowell graduate James Conner ran four times for 26 yards on offense, while the former Pitt star contributed on special teams as well on Sunday.
CLEVELAND — Andy Dalton threw three of his four touchdown passes in the first half and Cincinnati’s offense found the perfect opponent to work out some early season struggles and the Bengals rolled to a 31-7 win on Sunday over the overmatched Cleveland Browns.
Cleveland fell to 1-19 in two seasons under coach Hue Jackson, who has been handed the league’s youngest roster and is trying to break in rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer without many weapons.
The Browns are hurting themselves with unforced errors, but they’re also regressing since a 21-18 loss to Pittsburgh in Week 1.
With hard-hitting linebacker Vontaze Burfict back from a three-game suspension, Cincinnati’s defense also got to flex its muscles. Burfict made his presence known with his typical hits and he was also flagged for roughing Kizer in the fourth quarter.
The Browns were again without top pick Myles Garrett. The rookie pass rusher returned to practice Thursday and didn’t report any problems, but the Browns are being cautious and will delay his regular-season debut at least one more week. They were also missing starting outside linebacker Jamie Collins (concussion) and massive tackle Danny Shelton (calf).
ATLANTA — Stephen Hauschka kicked a tiebreaking, 56-yard field goal with less than 5 minutes remaining and the Buffalo Bills made a last-minute defensive stand to beat Atlanta 23-17 on Sunday after the Falcons lost wide receiver Julio Jones to a hip injury.
Hauschka padded the lead with a 55-yarder with about 3 minutes remaining.
Buffalo’s defense stopped the Falcons at the Bills 10 with less than a minute remaining when Matt Ryan couldn’t complete a fourth-down pass to Taylor Gabriel, and Atlanta became the last NFC team to lose this season.
Tre’Davious White returned a fumble recovery 52 yards for a third-quarter touchdown as the tough Buffalo defense delivered again even in a game it gave up its first passing touchdown of the season.
Bills defensive end Jerry Hughes hit Ryan’s arm as Ryan was trying to pass, forcing the fumble.
It was one of three turnovers by Atlanta (3-1) on a day the Bills (3-1) set a team record for consecutive quarters without a turnover. Ryan threw two interceptions, giving him five in his last two games.
Jones left the game in the second quarter with a hip flexor injury and did not return. Atlanta’s receiving corps took another hit when starter Mohamed Sanuwas ruled out with a hamstring injury in the third quarter.