Leaving aside how we lost this past week against the Broncos, it's certainly not devastating that we fell to Denver on the road on a last-second FG. This week's tilt against the Bengals however, is a more of a measuring stick of where this football team is and might go for the remainder of the 2007 season. Win and we're 5-2 heading back to Heinz to take a strangle hold of the division with a win over Baltimore. Lose and we're on our heels and stuck in the middle of a 3-way race for supremacy in the AFC North (sorry, Cleveland, I still don't take you seriously).
Again we travel to take on a team that has a lot at stake. This time it's the Bengals, who finally got their running game going against the New York Jets this past week. Back-up RB Kenny Watson carried the ball 31 times for 130 yards. While I don't think the Bengals can have that kind of sustained success running the ball against the Steelers, they're definitely a more formidable offense when they can freeze linebackers and safetys with the play-action pass.
The Steelers have won 5 straight on the road against the Bengals. Perhaps none was more satisfying than last year's Week 17 matchup against the Bengals - Coach Cowher's last game as the Steelers head coach.
The great thing about the NFL, and sports is general, is the opportunity it provides to make amends for past mistakes. You're only as good, or as bad, as your last game. This week against the Bengals, we get another shot against a suspect defense. Again on the road, and once more against a team that is fighting to resurrect its season. Join me throughout the rest of the day and week as we get ready to take on the hated Bengals of Cincinnati.
Thoughts on this week's game?