Are you ready for the third meeting between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Cincinnati Bengals? I know I am and it figures to be great game between two teams that can’t stand one another.
Immediately after it was known that the two teams would face each other in one of the two AFC Wild Card games next weekend, the first beating line surfaced from the Wynn Casino in Las Vegas and they had it as a pick’em even through the game is in Cincinnati, according to R.J. Bell of pregame.com on Twitter. Over the course of the last few hours, however, Bell reports that the early betting money is on the Steelers and that has shifted Pittsburgh to being a 2-point road favorite.
The Bengals might have to start A.J. McCarron at quarterback against the Steelers if starter Andy Dalton is not ready to play after suffering a fractured thumb on his throwing hand against the Steelers back in Week 14. For the season, McCarron is 79-of-119 passing for 854 yards with 6 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. He’s also been sacked 12 times.
The Steelers, however, enter the playoffs with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger not at his best as he’s thrown 7 interceptions in his last 4 starts to go along with 6 touchdown passes. To make matters worse, the Steelers might not have running back DeAngelo Williams next weekend against the Bengals due to him suffering a right ankle injury in Sundays win over the Cleveland Browns. While head coach Mike Tomlin said Sunday he’s not ready to rule out Williams for next week’s Wild Card game, the running back was wearing a walking boot on his right foot after the game.
The Steelers will face the Bengals for just the second time in postseason history next weekend. The last time the two teams played in the playoffs the Steelers beat the Bengals 31-17 on January 8, 2006 at Cincinnati. That was the game that the Steelers knocked then-Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer out of the contest early with a serious knee injury.
The Steelers and Bengals split their two regular season meetings this years with each team winning on the road.