Sep 16, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) talks with Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) after the Cincinnati Bengals defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers 20-10 at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Bengals Do Battle At Heinz Field with No. 2 Seed on the Line

Sep 16, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals fans celebrates after a touchdown during the fourth quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots lost.

You may have already heard about Miami pulling off the huge upset with a 4th quarter red zone stand. But what you may not have already heard is what the outcome of this AFC game means for the Cincinnati Bengals.

If the Bengals can win a huge Sunday Night Football contest against division-bully Pittsburgh, the AFC’s No. 2 seed will be under new ownership. Not only that, but Cincinnati controls it’s own destiny to keep that title, via head-to-head wins over both New England and Indianapolis at home.

Any religious Bengals fans out there? Or anyone that follows those “It’s not weird if it works” commercials from Budlight? Prayers and terribly impractical traditions are now being accepted for the away team in Heinz field tonight. That’s right, anything that will work. Specifically, some snow might help, since the running game of Cincinnati is far superior to that of the Steelers this year. Indeed, the Bengals rank 14th in pounding the rock, with the Steelers being the second worst in that category.

So yeah….um, pray for that? Can I hear an amen?

The Steelers have been annual favorites in division games against the Bengals in the last decade, but Cincinnati is certainly succeeding in bucking that trend in 2013. They were seven-point favorites at home in Week 2, and the Steelers are now rare-home underdogs by 2.5-3 points. It depends on who you ask.

With a strong running game and a menacing forecast of cold weather, the Bengals find themselves set up well for a game in which a win could clinch the AFC North for the Queen City.

But for those already looking at the No. 2 seed and a first-round bye, remember that on the NFL’s biggest primetime stage, the Steelers stand in the way.

 

 

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Tags: AFC Playoffs Cincinnati Bengals NFL Pittsburgh Steelers

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