NFL Football

23
Final 1 2 3 4 Tot
Pittsburgh 0 3 7 13 23
Cincinnati 10 7 3 0 20
20
5:30 PM PT6:30 PM MT7:30 PM CT8:30 PM ET1:30 GMT9:30 6:30 PM MST8:30 PM EST7:30 PM CT5:30 UAE (+1)20:30 ETNaN:� , December 4, 2017
Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, Ohio  Weather: 61°, Clear  Attendance: 56,029

Steelers, Bengals set for fierce division showdown

According to STATS
According to STATS

Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals

  1. Pittsburgh eked out a 31-28 win over Green Bay at Heinz Field on Sunday night, winning its sixth straight game in the process. The Steelers are 16-2 in their last 18 regular-season contests -- tied with the Patriots for best in the league since Week 11 in 2016.
  2. Cincinnati beat Cleveland, 30-16, at home in Week 12, and has won back-to-back games for the second time of the year (also Weeks 4-5). The Bengals haven't put together a 3+ game win streak since beginning the 2015 campaign with eight straight victories.
  3. The Steelers beat the Bengals, 29-14, in these clubs' first meeting of the year in Week 7 at Heinz Field, and have won four straight in this series overall. Cincinnati has not beaten Pittsburgh at home since 2013 (won 20-10 in Week 2).
  4. Ben Roethlisberger was 33-of-45 for 351 yards and four touchdowns (2 INT) in Week 12, giving him 20 scoring passes on the season, and four TD (or more) in back-to-back games for the third time in his NFL career. Big Ben has 36 career touchdown passes vs. the Bengals -- one shy of tying Warren Moon for most of any quarterback all-time.
  5. Joe Mixon had 23 carries for 114 yards and a touchdown in Week 12, recording his first career 100+ yard rushing game, and nearly matching the rush yard total in his previous three games combined (117 yards). Mixon has 484 yards on the ground overall in 2017 -- fourth among all rookies.
  6. Pittsburgh's opponents have recorded 174 first downs in 2017 -- fewest in the NFL. Cincinnati has just 176 first downs this season (fewest in the league).
Team Comparison

Pittsburgh
 
Cincinnati
23.5 Points 18.1
272.0 Pass Yds 215.6
104.1 Rush Yds 75.6
16 Takeaways 10

The teams can't pretend it will be just another game when the Pittsburgh Steelers visit the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday night in an AFC North showdown.

"It's another game, but it's Pittsburgh, and they're leading our division," Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said. "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."

The Steelers won the clubs' first meeting in Week 7 at Pittsburgh, 29-14.

Both teams are coming off Week 12 wins.

The Steelers (9-2) are currently riding a six-game win streak and have beaten the Bengals (5-6) five straight times. Pittsburgh was on the winning side against Cincinnati eight out of the past nine meetings.

Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown enters the game playing at an MVP level. He leads the league in receptions (80) and yards (1,195). Six times this season, Brown eclipsed the 100-yard receiving mark, though he did not top 100 yards against the Bengals.

Brown has faced the Cincinnati defense 15 times in his career, 14 regular-season games and one playoff game. He went over 100 yards only three times in those contests, most recently in the playoffs after the 2015 season.

Brown has just five receiving touchdowns against the Bengals.

The 2017 Cincinnati pass defense has been very strong and will look to slow Brown and the Steelers passing attack again.

Cincinnati ranks fifth in the NFL in pass defense, only allowing 203.8 yards a game. The Bengals are 10th in the NFL in points allowed at 19.5 per contest, so they figure to put pressure on Pittsburgh's offensive line and running back Le'Veon Bell.

Bell leads the NFL in rushing at 981 yards. He is poised to pass the 1,000-yard mark on a season for the third time in his five-year NFL career.

Getting a mere 19 yards Sunday shouldn't be a problem as the Michigan State product is facing a Bengals defense that is 28th in the NFL at stopping the run, allowing opponents an average of 126.6 yards a game.

The Bengals finally had their own strong showing in the run game last week in a 30-16 win over the Cleveland Browns. Led by rookie running back Joe Mixon, the Bengals churned out 152 rushing yards.

Finding that same freedom against the Steelers will not be so easy. The Pittsburgh defense only gives up an average of 96 yards per game on the ground, which ranks sixth in the NFL.

The Steelers' defense is ranked fourth in the league points allowed at 17.5 a contest.

If the Bengals are going to win, quarterback Andy Dalton needs to make big plays in the passing game, especially to wide receiver A.J. Green. On paper, Pittsburgh pass defense looks stalwart, ranking third in the NFL by only allowing 193.4 yards a game. But the Steelers' secondary has been gashed by big pass plays all season.

In Pittsburgh's 31-28 win over Green Bay on Sunday, Packers quarterback Brett Hundley threw three touchdown passes of 39 yards or longer. The Tennessee Titans scored on a 75-yard touchdown pass against the Steelers. The Indianapolis Colts scored twice on passes of 60 yards or more, and the Detroit Lions' Matthew Stafford threw for 423 yards against the Steelers with two completions of 40 yards or more.

"You can't give up chunks on defense and give yourself chances to win," Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said after the Green Bay game. "We were able to overcome those things. We were probably fortunate, but it's also probably a good sign of the group in terms of we're a good enough team to kind of overcome those things.

"We got enough togetherness to stay on task, but obviously we got to minimize some of those things. Some of those things have been issues for us in multiple games, particularly the big plays of late, so obviously that has to stop yesterday."

While Steelers need to eliminate giving up big plays on defense, the Bengals need Dalton to have a consistent, turnoverfree night.

The Pittsburgh offense should look to ride the legs of Bell, as the Bengals' defense has fared well at containing Brown. Cincinnati can't allow a different Steelers receiver or Bell to have a big game.

Updated November 30, 2017

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