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Bengals-Steelers Preview






DECEMBER 15, 2013

TIME: 8:30 p.m. Sunday

PLACE: Heinz Field (Grass)

LOCAL RADIO: Play-by-play Dan Hoard and analyst Dave Lapham led by Triple Cast of WLW 700 AM, ESPN AM 1530 and WEBN FM 102.7 on the 25-station Bengals radio network.

NATIONAL RADIO: WestwoodOne Sports. Play-by-play Kevin Kugler, analyst James Lofton, Steve Tasker sideline reporter

TV: NBC broadcast team of play-by-play Al Michaels, analyst Cros Collinsworth, sideline reporter Michelle Tafoya on Cincinnati's Channel 5, Channel 2 in Dayton, Ohio, Channel 18 in Lexington, Ky.


INJURIES ** CIN: OUT: Starting CB Terence Newman (knee). Everyone else is probable. SAM backer James Harrison (illness) is such after missing Thursday and Friday. RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis (illness) went full Friday after being out Wednesday and Thursday. WLB Vontaze Burfict (illness) went full Friday after missing Thursday. WR Marvin Jones (shoulder) went full Friday after being limited all week. DL Wallace Gilberry (knee) went full Friday after being limited all week. S George Iloka (concussion) went full Thursday and Friday after being limited Wednesday. RG Kevin Zeitler (foot), who hasn't played in the last three games, had his first full practices all week since the Nov. 10 injury.

PIT: OUT: DE Brett Keisel (foot), making him inactive for the fourth time in the last five games. NT Steve McLendon (ankle) is questionable after not practicing all week, but he may go. Everyone else is probable, including WR Emmanuel Sanders (foot) when he went full Friday after being limited Thursday, and SS Troy Polamalu (shoulder) when he went full Friday after not going all week. LT Kelvin Beachum (knee) went full all week.

Steelers lead regular season series, 52-34, and postseason series 1-0; 27-15 in Pittsburgh, 7-5 at Heinz

» A Bengals victory and a Baltimore loss or tie Monday night in Detroit gives Cincinnati its third AFC North title under Marvin Lewis and second in five years.

» A Bengals victory and a Miami loss or tie at home to New England at 1 p.m. Sunday secures a Wild Card berth for Cincinnati, its third straight playoff bid and fourth in five years.

» Mike Tomlin, the Steelers head coach since 2007, and Ben Roethlisberger, the Steelers quarterback since 2004, are trying to avoid their first losing seasons in Pittsburgh by winning the three remaining games.

» The Bengals are trying to win three straight against Pittsburgh for the first time since they won six straight against the Steelers from Sept. 18, 1988-Dec. 2, 1990.

» The two youngest players in this game are the rookie running backs. Cincinnati's Giovani Bernard was born Nov. 22, 1991 and Pittsburgh's Le'Veon Bell on Feb. 18, 1992, when the Steelers began a streak of eight straight victories over the Bengals from Nov. 10, 1991-Dec. 4, 1994.

» In the second victory of that Bengals six-game win skein, a 42-7 win over the 2-7 Steelers on Nov. 6, 1988 at Riverfront Stadium, Cris Collinsworth had one catch for 36 yards in his final game against the Steelers.

» The 5-8 Steelers, a game in front of the last-place Browns, last finished in last place in their division in 1988.

» The last time the Bengals played a Steelers team three games under .500 this late in the season was during Lewis's first season in 2003. The 4-7 Steelers took a 20-17 lead with 1:05 left in a Nov. 30, 2003 game at Heinz on a Hines Ward TD catch. But Bengals QB Jon Kitna wheeled 52 yards on four plays and hit tight end Matt Schobel from 18 yards out to win it with 13 seconds left to put the 7-5 Bengals in a first-place tie with Baltimore and began Lewis's run of winning half his games at Heinz.

» The Bengals are looking at winning in back-to-back years at Heinz for the first time since 2005 and 2006.     

CIN: T-9th in scoring, 10th in offense (14th rushing, 12th passing); 6th in scoring defense, 8th in defense (5h rushing, T-8th passing), T-16th in turnover margin at minus-1.

PIT: 19th in scoring, 16th in offense (31st rushing, 7th passing); 15th in scoring defense, 12th in defense (24th rushing, 7th passing), T-23rd in turnover margin at minus-4.

CIN: Marvin Lewis 88-84-1 regular season, 0-4 postseason in his 11th season; 7-15 vs. Steelers

PIT: Mike Tomlin 73-44 in seventh season, 9-4 vs. Bengals and Lewis

The National Weather Service in Wilmington, Ohio is calling for temperatures around 25 degrees at kickoff and falling to about 20 by the end of the game with winds out of the west and southwest at about five to 10 miles per hour with a low chance of precipitation.

» 39-15 - Mike Tomlin's record at home since he became Steelers head coach in 2007
» 5-5 - Marvin Lewis's record at Heinz since he became Bengals head coach in 2003
» 14-9 - Bengals QB Andy Dalton's career road record
» 27-13 - Tomlin's record vs. the AFC North
» 19-21 - Lewis's record vs. AFC North since '07
» 37-12 - Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger's record vs. AFC North
» 5-14 - Bengals record vs. Roethlisberger
» 7-9 - Dalton's record vs. AFC North
» 4 - Bengals 100-yard rushers vs. Steelers since 1992
» 1996 - Last year Bengals didn't have at least one 100-yard rusher during the season
»6 - Consecutive games Steelers have scored at least 20 points
» 5 - Games Bengals have held offenses to fewer than 20 points
» 3-11 - Bengals record on Sunday night
» 18-20 - Steelers record on Sunday night
» 1,130 - Career-high receiving yards in 1983 for Collinsworth, one of his four 1,000-yard seasons
» 1,175 - Current receiving yards for Bengals WR A.J. Green with three games to play
» 28 - Wins for Dalton in first 45 starts
» 33 - Wins for Roethlisberger in first 45 starts
» 72 - TD passes for Dalton in first 45 starts
» 59 - TD passes for Roethlisberger in first 45 starts
» 45 - Interceptions for Dalton in first 45 starts
» 44 - Interceptions for Roethlisberger in first 45 starts
» 1,023 - Yards from scrimmage for Bengals RB Giovani Bernard, second among NFL rookies
» 936 - Yards from scrimmage for Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell, third among NFL rookies

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