Time for Bengals to prove they can beat the Steelers

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PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 28: Andy Dalton #14 of the Cincinnati Bengals looks to pass during the third quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on December 28, 2014 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 28: Andy Dalton #14 of the Cincinnati Bengals looks to pass during the third quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on December 28, 2014 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /
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Week 7 will be a time of reflection for the Bengals. Playing the Pittsburgh Steelers always brings up the measuring stick dilemma. They have to prove how good they are.

The day that most Bengals fans live for is happening in Week 7. A divisional matchup with the Steelers will be on tap for their viewing pleasure. Cincinnati travels to the Steel City to tangle with their rivals. Truthfully, the game is one that could mean more to the Bengals than fans realize. This is a chance to prove the momentum gained with two straight wins is no fluke. On Sunday afternoon, the Bengals need to show they can handle the Steelers.

Few games have the ability to make a whole city come together for one cause. There are 14 other games on the schedule. But, two games, out of each year. are looked upon as the measuring stick for the Cincinnati franchise. Playing the Steelers isn’t the extent of the battle. Beating, embarrassing and handling them like an unwanted pestilence is the main focus of the matchups.

Why Pittsburgh? Is there some huge significance behind smashing that team in Black and Gold. Um, yes. Yes, there is a certain satisfaction that comes with beating the Steelers. Let’s not get it twisted into knots. Fans aren’t the ones on the field absorbing bone-jarring hits or feeling the burn of stingers. But, it’s the personal feeling of seeing the mighty being made small that puts the “we” in beating the Steelers.

Yes, It’s A Statement 

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There’s no other way to put it. Even if the players have been programmed to say “it’s just another game,” it’s far from ordinary. The history of the game runs deep. Since its inception, the Bengals and Steelers have played 95 games. So, when the talk of this being a rivalry is played down, it’s due to lack of knowledge about the history.

The biggest problem? The Bengals have lost 63 percent of the games. Yup. The Bengals have a mere 35 W’s in the series that dates back to 1970. It’s one of the most one-sided rivalries in the NFL.

Facing the raw facts is what makes the game so painful for Bengals fans. In addition, once the younger players are enlightened, the pride factor becomes involved. But, that still doesn’t mean play out of character. Furthermore, this matchup is all about keeping a cool head in the face of adversity. Whenever these teams meet, there’s always a sprinkling of chippiness and drama.

But, this year, the games are way too important for that aspect to overplay the meaning. Sweeping the Steelers may not be a possibility but playing them tough enough could go a long way. Splitting the games will only make it tougher for playoff consideration. With the competition in the AFC, there could only be room for the AFC North champion in the postseason.

What It All Means

Finally, as predicted, there haven’t been verbal blastings between the Steelers and Bengals. Week 7 is a game that means tons to both clubs. No verbal ammunition.

But, for Cincinnati, it’s a chance to prove they can beat a quality division rival after walking all over Cleveland. This is a game that can give them a shot of confidence going into the big road grind ahead.

Next: By The Numbers Week 7

From the Steelers’ point of view, this is a game to put the Bengals back in their place. Essentially, they view themselves as the keepers of the AFC North. Beating Cincinnati will prove they are the Big Dogs of the division.

Honestly, Sunday’s game may not spell the end or beginning of the Bengals’ postseason hopes. But, it sure will be an extra beautiful Monday morning with a win.

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