The Steelers are banged up on defense, and Cincinnati knows their season is just about riding on this one game. Andy Dalton finally makes it through an entire game without an interception and the Bengals pull it out in a squeaker.
Bengals 27, Steelers 24.
We always do well against the Steelers when Polamalu doesn’t play, and well, he’s out! Not to mention a rookie against Carlos Dunlap, and Pouncey possibly out. I can’t see us running too well, but I can see doing just enough with the law firm fall forward running style. Also Andy needs to shut us up about him not beating good teams, now’s your chance Andy.
This is going to be a good divisional matchup on Sunday. For the first time in a long time, the Bengals and Steelers are more evenly matched coming in to the game. Both teams will be looking for a much needed win and both offenses will put it all on the line. My prediction is that the injuries and fourth quarter issues are too much for the Steelers to overcome and the Bengals ride Andy Dalton’s arm to a 21-17 victory.
Since I live in Pittsburgh, I have watched every Steelers game this season, along with the Bengals games. The Steelers are going to be in panic mode, as are the Bengals. This game will easily be the game of the week and could pretty much tell which of these two teams is truly in the playoff contention. The Bengals have allowed every rookie they played to play well, imagine how Big Ben will fair against this defense? However, with that said, the Steelers defense isn’t what it once was. If the Bengals open up the playbook and actually make this game into a shootout, the Bengals win. And I believe that will happen.
Bengals win: 35-31
The Bengals are in the midst of an 0-for-9 streak against the Ravens and the Steelers. Because they lost to the Browns and the Dolphins, they’ve put themselves in a position they’ll have to snap that streak in order to have any hopes of making the playoffs. The Steeelrs, at just 2-3, will also be in desperation mode Sunday, making this a contest that will be competitive to the very end, and will likely go the way of the team that makes the fewest mistakes and critical turnovers, something the Bengals just can’t seem to avoid right now.
Bengals 24, Steelers 28
The Bengals are reeling from dropping two games in a row rather than rivaling a wounded Ravens team with a 5-1 record. The idea of surrendering what remains of the AFC North to the Steelers in Prime Time can’t be sitting well in the locker room. Other than the running game, Cincinnati is getting healthy while Pittsburgh is suffering attrition. Regardless, with Mendenhall and Redman touch-and-go, the game will be a shoot out between two Pro-Bowl quarterbacks and two beat-up secondaries. Expect fireworks for all 4 quarters. Despite the Steelers coming off their Bye and an extended rest after a Thursday night loss, I’m hedging the Bengals nonetheless.
38-33 Cincinnati on top.