The Steelers scored three first-half touchdowns against the Bengals

PITTSBURGH — It's a holiday miracle. Najee Harris' second-quarter touchdown gave the Pittsburgh Steelers a 21-0 lead over the Cincinnati Bengals with more than seven minutes to go before halftime, their first 21-point lead since the 2020 season.

Harris' rushing added to earlier touchdowns scored by Calvin Austin III and George Pickens. Earlier this week, coach Mike Tomlin announced that Mason Rudolph will take the starting job in an effort to get more points. Kenny Pickett was inactive Saturday, sidelined following Dec. 4 ankle surgery. Rudolph certainly got off to a hot start, completing 6 of 9 attempts for 121 yards and a touchdown as he orchestrated three scoring drives with the help of two defensive interceptions.

On the second play of the game, Rudolph sent a laser pass to Pickens, who cut inside and outran cornerback DJ Turner II. Pickens slipped through the Bengals' secondary when safety Doggs Hill missed a tackle. The second-year wide receiver, who was the topic of conversation in Pittsburgh this week, admitted he didn't block the play because he didn't want to get hurt, running 86 yards down the field for a big touchdown.

According to ESPN Stats and Information, Rudolph's touchdown to Pickens marked the Steelers' longest touchdown against the Denver Broncos in Week 12 of 2018 when Ben Roethlisberger hit JuJu Smith-Schuster for 97 yards.

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The Steelers scored a 7-foot rushing touchdown from Austin Yearly in the second quarter.

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