CINCINNATI, Oct. 13 (UPI) -- Jerome Bettis rushed for a season-high 109 yards and two touchdowns Sunday as the Pittsburgh Steelers handed the Cincinnati Bengals another embarrassing loss, 34-7.
Earlier this week, embattled Cincinnati Coach Dick LeBeau said he would jump into the Ohio River if his winless team could come up with their first victory of the season.
But instead of reaching for his swimming trunks, LeBeau may be soon be looking to update his resume following another disastrous performance by his club.
LeBeau would not speculating about a possible coaching change.
"That is something I don't have to worry about," LeBeau said. "He (Bengals president Mike Brown) either will or won't (make a coaching change). That question will be answered for me."
Bettis had a lot to do with adding to LeBeau's frustration. The Pittsburgh running back scored on a one-yard run in the first quarter and rambled 41 yards for a score in the second, giving Pittsburgh a 17-0 lead.
Rookie Antwaan Randle El returned the second-half kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown and Tommy Maddox passed for a score for Pittsburgh (2-3), which played its best game of the season.
"We've been close to putting together a total game for the last couple of weeks," Steelers Coach Bill Cowher said. "After a while, you have to get mad and say, `enough is enough,' We had big expectations that weren't met immediately. It is how you respond to adversity that counts."
Corey Dillon scored on a two-yard run in the third quarter for the Bengals (0-6), who head into their bye week having lost their six games this season by a combined score of 181-51. They have been outscored, 103-20, in three home games and are the league's lone remaining winless team.
"I'm frustrated," Bengals fullback Lorenzo Neal said. "Guys ain't going to call me a bum. I refuse to be a loser. We're the laughingstock of the league. It's embarrassing, it's a disgrace.
"Now teams come in here and anywhere and look at you with no respect. I've been raised a better man than that. I'm a warrior. For a professional team to do this, to play this bad week in and week out, there's no excuse for it."
Bengals quarterback Jon Kitna threw three interceptions and lost a fumble.
The struggles for the Bengals were evident from the outset after they drove to the Steelers' 29 on the game's first possession. But Neil Rackers came up short on a 46-yard field goal.
Maddox immediately went work, finding Plaxico Burress for 36 yards on second down to the Cincinnati 22. Bettis carried five straight times and scored on a one-yard run with 8:06 left in the first quarter.
Burress had eight catches for 149 yards.
"We knew they would blitz a lot and they did," Maddox said. "They left Plaxico one-on-one and he did a great job of getting off his defender and reading the defense."
An interception by strong safety Lee Flowers late in the first quarter helped set up a 34-yard field goal by Todd Peterson early in the second, making it 10-0. Wide receiver Hines Ward had a 20-yard run on the nine-play, 56-yard drive.
Flowers, who stressed earlier in the week that the Steelers needed to stop Dillon, made another big play on the Bengals' next possession when he intercepted Kitna at the Pittsburgh 21.
"In the past I've had opportunities but I've always had brick hands," Flowers said. "I just played relaxed today. I was in the right place at the right time and held onto the ball."
That led to Bettis' 41-yard touchdown as he rumbled down the left sideline before cutting back at the Cincinnati 20, making it 17-0 with 10:04 left before halftime.
Bettis has excelled in his career against the Bengals, rushing for 1,387 yards in 13 games. He has 10 career 100-yard games against Cincinnati
Taking their share of criticism this season, the Steelers' defense continued to make plays as outside linebacker Joey Porter sacked Kitna and tackle Casey Hampton returned the ensuing fumble 36 yards to the Cincinnati seven.
Kitna went 23 of 35 for 222 yards with three interceptions and was sacked five times.
Three plays later, Maddox found fullback Dan Kreider with a four-yard touchdown to make it 24-0 with 6:34 left in the half.
Making his second start since taking over for Kordell Stewart, Maddox completed 16 of 25 passes for 216 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions.
"I never lost confidence in myself," said Maddox, who won for the first time in six career starts. "I just have to keep working and stay aggressive. I was able to help put the game plan together and then go out and play football on Sunday afternoon. That's fun for me."
Randle El, a converted quarterback, provided another jolt to start the second half with his long return.
Cornerback Jeff Burris helped set up Dillon's touchdown run with under a minute left in the third after he intercepted Maddox at the Pittsburgh five. Dillon was held to 57 yards on 17 carries.