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Steelers Vs. Bengals: NFL Week 14 Preview

December football. Sure, it's a bit of a cliche, as all sixteen regular season games count the same. But the month of December in the NFL is always a good barometer of what teams are made of - the physical grind of having already played 12 games, the injuries, the weather, the added pressure as teams scrap and claw for playoff positioning. It's good stuff. Hard to believe we're already three-quarters of the way through with the 2010 season.

Over the past five seasons (since 2005), here are the best records in the final month of the season (also includes regular-season games played in January).

Team Wins Losses Pct.
New England 21 4 .840
San Diego 21 4 .840
Pittsburgh 17 8 .680
Philadelphia 17 8 .680
Chicago 16 9 .640
Indianapolis 16 9 .640

 

Hard to imagine the Steelers dropping this coming Sunday's home game against the Cincinnati Bengals, but for as resilient and impressive as the Steelers have been this season, they've rarely won going away. Coach Tomlin has done an outstanding job getting his team to stay in the moment since he took over in 2007, but this week is another test in that department - it sandwiches last week's Ravens matchup, and the Steelers' Week 15 matchup against the New York Jets.

We won't spend too much time 'previewing' the Bengals, but here's a few facts, figures and notes about the matchup/

 

CINCINNATI BENGALS (2-10) AT PITTSBURGH STEELERS (9-3)

SERIES

 

BENGALS

STEELERS

SERIES LEADER

 

48-32

STREAKS

 

6 of past 8

COACHES VS. OPP.

Lewis: 5-11

Tomlin: 5-2

LAST WEEK

L 34-30 vs. Saints

W 13-10 at Ravens

LAST GAME

11/8/10: Steelers 27 at Bengals 21. Pittsburgh WR Mike Wallace has 5 catches for 110 yards, including 39-yard TD. Steelers RB Rashard Mendenhall adds 99 rush yards & 1 TD.

LAST GAME AT SITE

11/15/09: Bengals 18, Steelers 12. Cincinnati K Shayne Graham kicks 4 2nd-half FGs as Bengals sweep season series vs. Pittsburgh for 1st time since '98.

BROADCAST

CBS (1:00 PM ET): Greg Gumbel, Dan Dierdorf. SIRIUS: 130 (Cin.), 126 (Pit.). XM: 105 (Pit.).

 

STATS

PASSING

C. Palmer: 280-465-3,009-20-15-80.1

Roethlisberger: 159-258-2,078-13-5-95.7

RUSHING

Benson: 237-837-3.5-6

Mendenhall: 257-1,007-3.9-9

RECEIVING

Owens: 71 (T3C)-961-13.5-9 (T3C)

Wallace: 41-868-21.2-8

OFFENSE

328.0

330.6

TAKE/GIVE

-3

+11 (3L)

DEFENSE

347.3

301.6 (3C)

SACKS

Dunlap (R): 4.5

Harrison: 10 (T3L)

INTs

Hall: 4 (T3C)

Polamalu: 4 (T3C)

PUNTING

Huber: 43.0

Kapinos (Ind.): 44.5

KICKING

Stitser: 10 (1/2 PAT; 3/3 FG)

Suisham: 25 (7/7 PAT; 6/6 FG)

 

NOTES

STEELERS:

  • With the Steelers win last week, Mike Tomlin became only 7th head coach to win at least nine games in each of 1st 4 seasons since '70...
  • For career (incl. postseason), Ben Roethlisberger is 10-4 (.714) against Cin. & has completed 254 of 401 passes (63.3 pct.) for 2,973 yards w/ 20 TDs vs. 14 INTs & 87.8 passer rating. Aims for 4th straight game at home w/ 3 TD passes.
  • Rashard Mendenhall had 99 rush yards in last game vs. Cin. Mendenhall (9) needs rush TD to become 5th RB in Steelers history to have 10+ rush TDs in single season. Has 5 rush TDs in 5 games at Heinz Field in '10.
  • Hines Ward has 15 career TD receptions vs. Cin., most vs. any opponent.
  • Mike Wallace had 100+ receiving yards in 2 of past 3 against Cin. (102, 110)...Defense is allowing league-low 62.3 rush yards per game this year...
  • James Farrior aims for 4th straight game w/ sack...
  • Troy Polamalu had sack & FF last week, leading to game-winning TD.

BENGALS:

  • Club has won 2 of past 3 against Steelers...
  • Carson Palmer averages 291.7 passing yards per game on road in '10 (1,750 total). Palmer (148) needs 2 TD passes to join Ken Anderson (197) & Boomer Esiason (187) as only players in Bengals history to reach 150 TD passes.
  • Cedric Benson (837) needs 163 rush yards to reach 1,000 in consecutive seasons for 1st time in career. Benson tied career-high w/ 2 rush TDs last week.
  • T.O. had 10 rec. for 141 yards w/ 2 TD catches in last game vs. Steelers. Has 5 TD catches in 6 games vs. Pit. Owens (961) needs 39 rec. yards to join Pro Football HOFer J. Rice (14) & R. Moss (10) as only players ever w/ at least 10 1,000-yard seasons. Owens (9) needs 1 TD catch to record 9th season w/ 10+ TD receptions.
  • Chad Ochocinco averages 81.2 receiving yards per game on road in '10 (487 total).
  • Rookie DE Carlos Dunlap (2nd round, No. 54) has 3.5 sacks in past 2 games & aims for 3rd straight w/ sack.
  • Roy Williams had INT in last game vs. Pit.