Dec 15, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Cincinnati Bengals quarterbackAndy Dalton
(14) and Pittsburgh Steelers quarterbackBen Roethlisberger
(7) shake hands after their game at Heinz Field. The Steelers won 30-20. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Cincinnati Bengals vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Location: Paul Brown Stadium (Cincinnati, OH)
Date: Sunday, December 7, 2014
Game Time: 1:00pm ET
Weather: Sunday’s game will see partly cloudy skies, but with no chance of rain. There will be a 10 mph ENE wind, so kickers will need to be aware of that.
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TV: The game will be broadcast on your local CBS channel. Ian Eagle will be providing the commentary while Dan Fouts provides the analysis. If you don’t live in the Cincinnati area, here’s a link to an NFL game broadcast map for the week.
Local Radio: The game will be broadcasted on Cincinnati’s WCKY-AM (ESPN 1530), WEBN-FM (102.7), and WLW-AM (700). Dan Hoard (play-by-play) and former Cincinnati Bengals’ offensive lineman Dave Lapham (analyst) will be the announcers. Bengals.com has also provided a list of other radio broadcasts in the local area.
Predictions from the Staff
This is the kind of game that drives analysts and journalists mad. If we as fans have learned anything over the past 13 weeks of football, it is this game can not be predicted. There has been an outrageous amount of parity in the NFL in years past, but nothing quite like this.
On one hand you have the 8-3-1 Cincinnati Bengals. They have shown yet again this year that they are the ghosts of the NFL. When the bright lights come on, they fade away. They have shown that they struggle against mediocre teams, but they have won every game they are supposed to. This while they continue to get torched by the good teams; the Patriots and Colts ran straight through them.
While they did get throttled by the Cleveland “Mistake by the Lake” Browns, they have another game to go. So the end to that story has yet to be told. Then Who Dey Nation went out and shut down Baltimore twice. While the play of certain individuals has been erratic, one could make the case they have been on key when it comes to who they should and should not beat.
The Steelers on the other hand are quite the opposite. They have lost to the likes of bottoms feeders, i.e. Tampa Bay, New Orleans, and New York. Then they put up a combined 84 points in two games against the Baltimore Ravens and Indianapolis Colts. They split two games with the “Mistake by the Lake,” then squeaked out a one score victory over the Houston Texans.
While the team may be sporadic, the play of the individuals have been phenomenal. “‘Big’ Ben ‘I Fake Injuries a-lot'” Rap.. I mean Roethlisberger has played one of the best seasons of his life as he’s on pace for over 30 touchdowns and over 4,000 yards. Antonio “I like to kick punters in the face” Brown has 1,200+ yards already. Then there is Le’Veon Bell. He has become one of the best all-around backs in the NFL.
The Steelers offense is loaded. However, just when everyone and their brother thought they were getting healthier on defense, Brett Keisel laid an egg and broke himself for the rest of the season.
So you all are looking for my prediction? I am going to tell you to do one thing. Go to your local Chinese Takeout. Get an order of Vegetable Lo Mein, and read the fortune cookie. Because no human on earth will predict this game.
But let’s see if the boys can throw up a “W” for us this week.
Nugent redeems himself from Carolina, and everyone goes out for Skyline. Have a day.
Bengals 24 – Steelers 23
Steelers week has finally come and both teams have been hard to gauge. One week, the Steelers look like world beaters, then they lose to the Jets. The Bengals started the season on a roll, but have proceeded to go on “hot” and “cold” streaks since. The Bengals are so beat up right now and I don’t know how they are going to stop Le’Veon Bell not only from rushing, but also receiving out of the backfield. I think the Steelers shut down the Bengals’ run game and force Andy Dalton to throw, which will result in a couple game changing turnovers.
Steelers 28 – Bengals 13
This game is incredibly hard to predict as both teams have been erratic this year; both have looked like contenders at times while looking like pretenders at others. This while both teams have struggled with injuries this year, which may have contributed to the teams’ erratic performances.
More recently, the Bengals head into the game with a three-game win streak, all three on the road. Conversely, the Steelers just lost at home last week against the struggling Saints. This could indicate that the momentum is with the Bengals, but erratic play would make any predictor second guess this.
The bottom line is both teams need this win desperately as the AFC North is a tight battle between all four teams. The Bengals own the lead by the slimmest of margins (about a game and a half). In order to win this game, the Bengals will need to keep the Steelers’ potent offense off the field which means they’ll need to run the ball effectively. If they are unable to do this, the Steelers will have the opportunity to put up big points and force Andy Dalton to throw the ball. This could spell disaster for the Bengals.
But the Bengals’ defense has really stepped up over the past few weeks while the running game is coming around. If this trend continues, the Bengals have an excellent shot to continue their home winning ways.
Sunday is sure to be an extremely difficult battle that’ll likely come down to the final possession. With this in mind, I’m going to say that home field and playing at 1:00pm will be the deciding factor.
Bengals 20 – Steelers 17