Bengals at Steelers Preview

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TIME: 1 p.m. Sunday

PLACE: Heinz Field (grass)

LOCAL RADIO:  Dan Hoard (play-by-play) and Dave Lapham (analyst) led by "triple cast," Cincinnati flagship stations WLW-AM (700), WCKY-AM (ESPN 1530) and WEBN-FM (102.7) on the 41-station Bengals radio network.

NATIONAL RADIO: Sports USA Radio with Larry Kahn (play-by-play), Doug Plank (analyst), Troy West (sideline)

TV: CBS broadcast team of Ian Eagle (play-by-play), Dan Fouts (analyst), Evan Washburn (sideline) on Channel 12 in Cincinnati, Channel 7 in Dayton, Ohio, and Channel 27 in Lexington, KY.

INJURIES

CIN: 

QUESTIONABLE: Slot CB Leon Hall (back). After not playing in Buffalo two weeks ago, Hall went limited Wednesday and Thursday and full Friday as the only player on the injury report.

PIT:

OUT:Starting S Will Allen (ankle), starting DE Stephon Tuitt (knee), backup LB Terence Garvin (knee), backup Michael Vick (hamstring).

*PROBABLE: *After missing the last month with a sprained knee, starting QB Ben Roethlisberger went full every day this week and, as expected, is ready to go. Starting CB William Gay (shoulder) went full Thursday and Friday after sitting out Wednesday.

THE SERIES

The 4-3 Steelers lead 6-0 Bengals, 56-34, 29-15 in Pittsburgh, 9-5 at Heinz.

NOTEWORTHY

»»  The first time the Bengals were 6-0, they played the defending Super Bowl champion Steelers at Riverfront Stadium 40 years and a day after this one on Nov. 2, 1975. Behind two touchdown passes from Terry Bradshaw to Lynn Swann, the 5-1 Steelers jumped to a 23-3 lead heading into the fourth quarter. With quarterback Ken Anderson out passing Bradshaw, 331 yards to 164, the Bengals cut it to 23-17, but ended up losing, 30-24. The Steelers finished 12-2 and repeated as champs after handing the 11-3 Bengals two losses.

»» After not returning as Bengals head coach following the 2002 season, Dick LeBeau went back to Pittsburgh as the Steelers defensive coordinator in 2004 before leaving for Tennessee after last season. The Bengals had only two 100-yard rushing games against the Steelers in LeBeau's run and they were bookends. Rudi Johnson went for 123 in October of 2004 in the first game and Jeremy Hill went for 100 on Dec. 28, 2014 in the last one. Both were in Pittsburgh in Steelers victories.

»» Two of the last three games at Heinz Field have been for the whole ball of wax. Three years ago in the next-to-last week of the season in the Wild Wild Card Game, they met with the winner going to the postseason and the loser going home. The Steelers went home when Bengals safety Reggie Nelson picked off Roethlisberger with 14 seconds left near midfield in a tie game and a 21-yard bullet from Andy Dalton to A.J. Green later Josh Brown kicked a 43-yard field goal to win it, 13-10.

And then in last year's finale they met for the AFC North title with the loser going on the road to a Wild Card Game the next week. In a game bracketed by an Antonio Brown punt return TD and a Green fumble at the Steelers 30, Pittsburgh exacted revenge, 27-17.

»» It's been ten years since the Bengals virtually won the AFC North title with a 38-31 win in Heinz. The only players left from that day are all Steelers: Roethlisberger, outside linebacker James Harrison, tight end Heath Miller and long snapper Greg Warren. Head coach Mike Tomlin was finishing his stint as the Bucs secondary coach. Andy Dalton had just turned 18

»» The Bengals have two backup players on season-ending injured reserve with injuries from the preseason. The Steelers have 13 players on injured reserve, including three starters.

NFL RANKINGS

CIN: 4th in scoring, 3rd in offense (12th rushing, 5th       passing); 9th in scoring defense, 22nd in defense (16th      rushing, 21st passing), T-10th in turnover margin at plus-three.

PIT: T-8th in scoring, 19th in offense (9th rushing, 26th               passing); 5th in scoring defense, 24th in defense (8th     rushing, 27th passing), T-10th in turnover margin at plus-3.

COACHES

CIN: Marvin Lewis 106-96-2 in 13th season, 7-18 vs. Steelers.

BUF:Mike Tomlineighth season in Pittsburgh at 91-53, 12-4 vs. Bengals and Lewis.

PHILIP RIVERS WEATHER UPDATE

The National Weather Service in Wilmington, Ohio is calling for no chance of rain during Sunday's game in Pittsburgh during a mostly cloudy day with a kick-off temperature of about 60 degrees and a south west wind of 10 miles per hour.

* *

NUMBERS GAME

46 - Bengals' road wins under Lewis since he became coach in 2003

47 - Steelers' home victories since Mike Tomlin became coach in 2007.

46 - Wins for Bengals QB Andy Dalton, tied for fifth most with John Elway among Super Bowl QBs in their first five seasons.

43-14 - Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger's record vs. AFC North

38-36 - Lewis' record vs. AFC North

12-13 -   Bengals QB Andy Dalton's record vs. AFC North

22 - Dalton's career road wins six games into his fifth season

23 - Roethlisberger's road wins in first five seasons, tied for most for QBs in their first five seasons since the merger with Matt Ryan and Dan Marino

.664 _ Dalton's winning percentage, fifth among active QBs with at least 50 starts

.671 _ Roethlisberger's winning percentage, fourth among active QBs with at least 50 starts

11 _ TDs by Steelers WR Martavis Bryant in his first 12 career games

7 _ TDs by Bengals WR A.J. Green in his first 12 career games

20.9 _ Bryant's career yards per catch the past two seasons, tied with DeSean Jackson for NFL's best

 9.1 _ Dalton's yards per attempt this season, second in NFL

28-19-1 _ Lewis' November record

10-5 _ Dalton's November record

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