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Bengals don’t get any more ‘do-overs’ with Steelers

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PITTSBURGH, PA - OCTOBER 22: Brandon LaFell #11 of the Cincinnati Bengals celebrates with teammates after a 6 yard touchdown reception in the first quarter during the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on October 22, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - OCTOBER 22: Brandon LaFell #11 of the Cincinnati Bengals celebrates with teammates after a 6 yard touchdown reception in the first quarter during the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on October 22, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /
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Week 13 will be the last time the Bengals get to face the Steelers in 2017. There are no do-overs left…unless they meet in the playoffs.

When the Bengals and Steelers hook up, in Week 13, it’ll be more than just the regular season hoopla. Even though each game between the rivals is special, this is the big enchilada for the Bengals. Toss on the extra sour cream and all the toppings. This one will be a primetime battle to get revenge and prove something to analysts and fans alike. But, in order to make it a complete victory, the defense can’t come up lame.

The talk is still lukewarm following the Bengals win over the Browns. Meh. To some extent, that should be expected. Cleveland is still winless and the Bengals have owned them over the past few meetings. But, the win was a lot closer than the final score revealed. Paul Guenther’s defense was gracious to DeShone Kizer and let him rack up 268 yards through the air. He was also able to gash the defense for 39 yards on the ground.

Speaking of running, the Bengals allowed the Browns to shred them for 169 rushing yards. Honestly, that ain’t happening against the Steelers. If it does, the Bengals can pack up their bags and head for the nearest beach. The 2018 draft will be the next big thing they want to prepare for.

D has to stand tall 

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Giving the Browns 5.5 yards per carry is not going to make a team respect you–especially when it’s a team like the Steelers. Monday’s game will be about getting punched in the mouth and being able to take the dazed aftermath. Pittsburgh just outlasted the Pack on Sunday Night Football. The Bengals will have to do more against the Steelers than a fired up Browns team.

Yes, it’s all about professional athletes doing their job. But, if you want honesty, Cleveland ain’t the Steelers. The execution is focused and potentially lethal. Hue Jackson is a nice guy, but he hasn’t turned his players into a pack of mutant wolves ready to devour anything in Orange and Black.

On the other hand, Mike Tomlin doesn’t respect the Bengals and his players aren’t far behind. Although Ben Roethlisberger is trying to make excuses for the lack of focus on Cincinnati, it doesn’t feel genuine.

Marvin waking up?

When we last tuned in to the saga of Marvin Lewis and the pre-Steelers Bengals, it was during the Bye Week. The attitude back then (Week 6) was all about keeping a low profile and just treating it as another game. But, with primetime and the playoffs on the same agenda, Lewis is taking a decidedly different approach.

"“It’s another game, but it’s Pittsburgh, and they’re leading our division. They beat us up there. They’re coming here, and it’s a big football game for us because we don’t get any more do-overs.”"

What? Lewis claiming the Steelers matchup is a big game? Yes, the sky is falling.  But, it’s about time. Wait. Is this really Marvelous Marv talking?

"“It’s an exciting time. Monday Night Football, and obviously it’s an important game. It’s a division rival, they’re leading the division, and they’re on top of the AFC as well. So it’s a big football game. We’ve got to get it done.”"

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This is definitely the game that will define the Bengals for the rest of the season. It’s gonna be the one fans look back on, when the playoffs start. If Cincinnati wins this Week 13 duel, they’re on the verge of something special.

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