It was too little too late in the closing seconds for Big Ben on Sunday in no small affair in Pittsburgh.
The Bengals pulled out a 16-10 road win at Heinz Field despite playing their worst game of the season.
They are now 7-0 after staving off the Steelers.
Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's return proved to be not quite enough to prevent Cincinnati from getting off to its best start in franchise history.
That's because Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton threw a touchdown pass to wide receiver A.J. Green with 2:57 to go, and the Bengals picked off Roethlisberger twice in the fourth quarter while rallying for the win.
Cincinnati is 4-0 on the road.
The defending AFC North champion Steelers (4-4) hoped that Roethlisberger's return after missing four games with a sprained knee would kick-start them. After leading most of the contest, they fell apart in the closing minutes. Big Ben's final pass of the game with four seconds left was caught by wide receiver Antonio Brown just outside the back of the end zone.
Breathe easy, Cincinnati. The Bengals are still without a loss in 2015.
In addition to falling to .500, the Steelers lost running back Le'Veon Bell indefinitely to a knee injury. Bell twisted his right knee beneath him as he was tackled in the second quarter, and had to be carted off the field. Coach Mike Tomlin said after the game that Bell was being evaluated.
Bell was tackled on the fateful play by Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict, who was making his season debut following January knee surgery.
The Bengals ended a three-game losing streak to the Steelers, getting only their second victory in their past six visits to Heinz Field. Pittsburgh had won eight of the previous 10 meetings.
Roethlisberger ran out for introductions in a Steelers baseball cap with both arms raised as the crowd gave him the loudest ovation. And it didn't take long to remind them of what they'd missed.
Roethlisberger completed four of five passes during an opening 80-yard touchdown drive. His 1-yard pass to Brown capped a 7-minute, 14-second possession -- the kind of drive Pittsburgh had trouble pulling off in Big Ben's absence.
The Steelers, however, managed only one field goal the rest of the way.
The Bengals, meanwhile, wasted several scoring chances in the second half as Pittsburgh's improved scoring defense tried to hold on.
Cameron Heyward blocked Mike Nugent's 42-yard field goal try late in the third quarter, and the defense picked off Dalton twice in the fourth. After Cincinnati got a first-and-goal at the Steelers' 5 early in the fourth quarter, Antwon Blake intercepted Dalton's third-down pass in the end zone and returned it 42 yards.
Dalton came into the game leading the NFL in passer rating and fourth-quarter rating. He managed to pull off the short TD drive that decided it, making a 23-yard shovel pass to running back Giovani Bernard while scrambling on a third-down play to set up the score.
Bernard had just one carry in the game, as Jeremy Hill led the Bengals with 60 yards rushing on 15 carries.