The 5-6 Bengals are hot with two consecutive wins and the Steelers 9-2 are scalded with seven straight, so it's quite fitting that they meet at the unusually hot Paul Brown Stadium on Monday night (8: 30-ESPN, Channel 5 of Cincinnati) to increase the temperature in pursuit of the postseason of the AFC North.
The Steelers are already talking about trying to secure the No. 1 seed when they play against New England in two weeks, while the Bengals know a bad fourth against the Steelers can virtually eliminate them from the race.
One of the most animated Bengals.com media round tables suggests it will be a difficult sled for the hosts despite the 56 degree temperature at the kickoff.
Anyone knows how to beat Pittsburgh, it's former Bengals quarterback Boomer Esiason, who is badyzing the game for Westwood One radio. With 8-5 he is the only one of the four great quarterbacks of the Bengals who has a winning record against Pittsburgh with Ken Anderson 11-13, Carson Palmer 4-8 and
Professional golf personality Gerry Dulac, one of the Gold Dust twins of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette who covers the Steelers with Hall of Fame Ed Bouchette, drops a Tiger Woods reference when going with the Steelers. Jay Morrison of The Dayton Daily News calls for the Steelers to try to duplicate their perfect prediction a few weeks ago. Paul Dehner, Jr. of The Cincinnati Enquirer has been in all the trends of the series and covers them of the Bengals.
Lets go to the table:
Boomer Esiason, radio badyst Westwood One  The Steelers are one of the most talented teams in football. I thought the Bengals were there two or three years ago. Then, suddenly, Mohamed Sanu left. Marvin Jones left. They no longer had what they were building with those players. When you see what those players are doing in their other places and you see what their replacements are doing in Cincinnati, you realize that those replacements are just not there yet. They are not the players they should be. And the Steelers have one of the best defenses in football and that will put a lot of pressure on Andy Dalton.
That's the only thing I've seen all year. That puts a lot of pressure on Andy to come out and show up every week. It has been hard with him. They have been mired in mediocrity and the Steelers are anything but mediocre. With the battles of the Bengals offensive line, the fight of their secondary receivers, the fight of their running game, this is going to be a difficult game. They will have to play almost a perfect game. It's Steeler's week in Cincinnati. I know what that is. The attention to detail in all three phases has to be there.
The Steelers, by the way, are putting the cart up a bit before the horse thinks his Week 15 game with the Patriots will lead the field. advantage and that they will probably end up meeting them again. The Steelers are thinking about the future and I would think that if they are the Bengals they will play a little. With luck, they will be a little more distracted and a little less intense than when they enter this game. It is a revenge game. As they always say, in a game where teams do not like each other, all those things are discarded. None of that means anything when you step on the field on Monday night. How do you not give the Steelers the advantage?
Boomer Esiason has more wins for the Bengals over Pittsburgh than Carson Palmer and Andy Dalton combined.
Jay Morrison, Bengals beat reporter for The Dayton Daily News
I just do not think the Bengals' offense is good enough to stand against the defense of the Steelers Both are really good. You look at it and the Bengals have won two games in a row and maybe things are changing, but those teams are 3-19. Neither of the victories was really impressive. They are improving, but I still think they have many flaws and faults that Pittsburgh can exploit.
I do not think we'll see the Bengals run the ball like they did against Cleveland. He's going back They have not had a guy who goes for more than 100 yards running against Pittsburgh since 2004. People think because maybe Pittsburgh has so much advantage that the Bengals are going to catch them sleeping, but if Pittsburgh left this could be seeing a three-game losing streak because they have to play against Baltimore and New England. I do not think they're caught sleeping. The main number is 14-2 in this building since Marvin Lewis arrived here. It's amazing for a team to have that kind of dominance in the stadium of another team and another team that has been good for more years than bad. Steelers, 30-20
Paul Dehner, Jr., Bengals beat reporter by The Cincinnati Enquirer
I think the Bengals have some fighting and despite all the Winners the Steelers are doing, they have not been expelling people exactly from the water. Outside of Tennessee. So many numbers point to Pittsburgh, but I think the Bengals are still fighting. For all intents and purposes, it's an elimination game, but if the Bengals lose, there's still a way. They will need a little more help. In recent weeks, the Bengals defense has abandoned many of those units when teams have urgency. Tennessee, Denver. Even Cleveland's DeShone Kizer. They have uploaded two scores and become one. They are up a score and it becomes a loss. When teams begin to have urgency, they seem to move to the field and this offense is not good enough to overcome that.
Each stat in this series tends to Pittsburgh. Be it five consecutive victories, eight of nine, 14-2 at the Paul Brown Stadium. Be the Bengals 1-6 this year against teams with more than three wins. Each individual statistic. Star time. Ten and oh for the Steelers. Ten consecutive victories in primetime. The Bengals 2-8 in their last 10 and those two wins are Thursday night against the Browns and the Dolphins. Each trend goes in the wrong direction, but that's what this team has to do. They have to do something they have not done in a long time. Steelers, 27-21
Gerry Dulac, Steelers beat reporter by The Pittsburgh-Post Gazette
The Steelers have managed to score some points. There are 71 in the last two games and Ben Roethlisberger has thrown 10 touchdowns in the last three. I think they will score some points and the Bengals have had problems stopping the race in general and against the Steelers' runner Le & # 39; Veon Bell.
And they're on a roll. They have won seven games in a row and their defense has been quite good. Last week was the first time they gave up more than 17 points in six games. They have been pretty solid. They have been able to put pressure on the field marshal. When they have not had their game A they have still won. For me that is more than worth mentioning. That's something I learned from Tigers Woods. When you do not have your A game and you show that you can still win when you do not have your best things that also say a lot for a team. And they play well there. I will not bet against the story and I will not bet against your recent move. They seem to have found their way a bit and Ben has been at the center of it all. Steelers, 30-20.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Everyone knows the script and the Bengals have to turn it around:
_Dalton and A.J. Green has not scored more than 21 points against Pittsburgh. Dalton has a pbader rating of 75 against the Steelers and 91 against all others and while Green has good numbers against Pittsburgh (almost 14 yards per catch and 85 yards per game); He has had five receptions in the last two games.
_ The Bengals have had two 100-yard runners against Pittsburgh under Lewis and have not had one in a win since '99. That's a big reason why Palmer and Dalton are 7-18 against them. They are delayed, when the Steelers' bombing zone is at its most dangerous, and they watch what happened on October 22. With the advantage in the fourth quarter, the Steelers managed four sacks in five plays.
_In the In the last two games at Heinz, the Steelers have taken advantage of the Bengals' inability to own the ball by accumulating 74 plays last year and 68 in October. After they were hurt in some big plays early to gain the advantage, the Steelers take control of the game patiently and crush the Bengals. No matter how well you play as a defense, the Steelers will ensure that your offensive line (with three free agents not selected, by the way) catches you. The Bengals did a decent job with Bell and they kept him at 3.8 yards per carry, but by giving him 35 chances he can take the game like he did the last time.
_The Bengals cornerbacks have done a good job on the great Antonio Brown as he had a pair of 100-yard games against them in 2014. He had 119 yards in the Wild Card Game, but in all three games since he they had 39, 58 and 65.
But the script says it's the other guys who hurt them in the pbad game. Last year it was Sammie Coates at Heinz with two receptions for 97 yards. Three years ago it was Martavis Bryant in a 95 yard. In October they had a lack of communication in each of the Steelers' two touchdowns, one that resulted in a 23-yard catch and boom from Bell in the third and five yards to establish the first score and the other was the 31-yard touchdown to rookie catcher JuJu Smith-Schuster for sewing. Both with nobody near them.
Morrison discovered for the Dayton newspaper that in the past 22 Bengals-Steelers games, the Steelers have used that offense to kick field goals in the last two minutes of time in astonishing 18 games. 19659002] _A portion of the script has underlined special equipment. Until last month, Brown's three kickback touchdowns were the only ones in Bengals kicker
But the Bengals seem to be coming out of that and playing a great special team on Monday night can go a long way in changing the script. They blocked a field goal at the end of the half two weeks ago in Denver and last week
The Bengals do not have to flip the entire script to win on Monday. All they have to do is change a couple of story lines. Kick it, turn back