Chiefs, Jets or Steelers: Who do the Bengals want?

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Dec 27, 2015; Baltimore, MD, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) throws prior to the game against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 27, 2015; Baltimore, MD, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) throws prior to the game against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports /
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Dec 20, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) throws a pass against the Denver Broncos during the first half at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 20, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) throws a pass against the Denver Broncos during the first half at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports /

3. Pittsburgh Steelers

Record: 9-6

Away: 3-4

AFC: 6-5

Streak: 1L

Divisional matchups are never easy, especially when they’re between the Bengals and the Steelers. Neither of these two teams would be excited to see the other, but the Bengals especially absolutely DO NOT want to see the Steelers. It seems as though Pittsburgh is able to beat Cincinnati in every meaningful game, no matter how good the Bengals play.

Earlier this season, the Bengals barely squeaked by the Steelers in a 16-10 slobberknocker. Later on, Pittsburgh took care of Cincinnati in a 33-20 showdown. No matter who is or isn’t injured on either side, matchups with the Steelers are never easy. While the Steelers defense has struggled in 2015, it has performed very well against the Bengals offense, allowing just 30 points in two games. And on offense, Pittsburgh is loaded. Ben RoethlisbergerDeAngelo WilliamsAntonio Brown and Martavis Bryant are all capable difference-makers, and Heath Miller seems to torch Cincinnati every time he takes the field.

Next: Bengals Playoff Scenarios: Week 17

Fortunately for Cincinnati, a first-round matchup with Pittsburgh is about just as likely as a first-round bye. However, if this matchup were to occur, the Bengals would be in for a fight. Even if the Bengals are able to come out on top of Pittsburgh, they’ll likely sustain some sort of injury to at least one key player. In the past three years, Andy Dalton, Tyler EifertKevin Huber and more have sustained serious injuries in tilts with Pittsburgh. It’s highly unlikely that the Bengals would get out of this game injury-free, as the last matchup between these two squads almost evolved into an all-out brawl.

Ultimately, this matchup is the least-likely to happen and definitely the matchup the Bengals hope doesn’t happen.

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