Bengals-Steelers Preview

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VS.

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GAME PREVIEW
DECEMBER 4, 2011

TIME: 1 p.m., Sunday

PLACE: Heinz Field (DD GrassMaster)

RADIO: Play-by-play man Dan Hoard and analyst Dave Lapham on "Triple Cast" flagships 700-AM WLW, 1530-AM ESPN and 102.7-FM WEBN on the 25-station Bengals radio network. National Radio: Play-by-play man Howard David and Tony Boselli analyst on Westwood One.

TV: CBS broadcast team of Jim Nantz play-by-play and Phil Simms analyst Channel 12 in Cincinnati, Channel 7 in Dayton, Ohio, Channel 27 in Lexington, Ky.

INJURIES
CIN: OUT: LE Carlos Dunlap (hamstring) for second straight week. CB Nate Clements (hamstring) surfaced on the injury report Thursday and was listed as limited. But he didn't work Friday, making him questionable at best. Like last week, DT Domata Peko (foot) also didn't work Wednesday and Thursday but practiced Friday and it looks like he'll go as probable. Same with RB Cedric Benson (foot) and WR Jerome Simpson (knee). TE Donald Lee (foot) has returned to practice this week, but was limited and is questionable. S Chris Crocker (bicep) and DT Pat Sims (ankle), who got hurt on Sunday, were also questionable. Sims seemed to have a setback because he was limited Thursday but didn't practice Friday.

PIT: QB Ben Roethlisberger, who broke his throwing thumb three weeks ago in Cincinnati, tweaked it taking a snap on the last series of Thursday's practice, but indicated he was OK and was full go and probable Friday. The Steelers expected WR Emmanuel Sanders (foot) back, and after he didn't work Thursday he went full Friday and is probable. Same with Troy Polamalu (head) and LOLB Lamarr Woodley (hamstring). They went full go Thursday and Friday. C Maurkice Pouncey (illness) was limited Thursday but is expected to go after a full Friday. Backup RILB Larry Foote (hamstring) was limited and questionable.
» Complete Injury Report

THE SERIES
Steelers lead regular season series, 50-32, and postseason series 1-0; 27-14 as home team; 6-4 at Heinz.

NOTEWORTHY
» Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis is looking for his fifth win at Heinz with his third starting quarterback.

» The Bengals defense hasn't allowed an offensive TD in the last two trips to Heinz.

» Lewis grew up on the outskirts of Pittsburgh in McDonald, Pa. Steelers coach Mike Tomlin coached the University of Cincinnati from 1999-2000.

» In another battle of top five defenses, the Steelers come in No. 2 and the Bengals No. 5. Three weeks ago in the 24-17 loss to the Steelers at Paul Brown Stadium, the Bengals were fourth and Steelers third. The Bengals gave up 328 yards, about 20 over their average and the Steelers allowed 279, two over their average.

» The game takes place six years to the day the Bengals beat the Steelers at Heinz, 38-31, in what amounted to the 2005 AFC North title game. The stars of the game were the draft class. First-rounder David Pollack had a fourth-quarter sack. Second-rounder Odell Thurman had a fourth-quarter interception that set up the last TD drive (along with a fumble recovery). Third-rounder Chris Henry had a third-down conversion catch on the last scoring drive. Sixth-rounder Tab Perry's 94-yard kick return set up the TD for a 31-24 lead. Seventh-rounder Jon Fanene got two big pressures on QB Ben Roethlisberger on his first two NFL snaps. Only Fanene remains with the team.

NFL RANKINGS
CIN: T12th in scoring, 18th in offense (20th rushing, 17th passing); Fifth in defense (fifth rushing, 11th passing), tied for 12th in turnover margin at plus-one.

PIT: 19th in scoring, 10th in offense (18th rushing, eighth passing); Second in defense (sixth rushing, third passing), T27th in turnover margin at minus-8.

COACHES
CIN: Marvin Lewis 67-71-1 regular season, 0-2 postseason in his ninth season, 5-13 vs. Steelers.

PIT: Mike Tomlin 46-26 in fifth season, 7-2 vs. Bengals and Lewis.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS
» 4 - Bengals wins in Pittsburgh under head coach Marvin Lewis
» 3 - Bengals wins in Pittsburgh under head coaches Dave Shula, Bruce Coslet and Dick LeBeau
» 4 - Bengals wins in Pittsburgh under Sam Wyche
» 18-21 - Lewis's record in December-January
» 17-9 - Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin's record in December-January
» 28 - Sacks by Bengals
» 24 - Sacks by Steelers
» 6.5 - Sacks by Bengals DT Geno Atkins
» 5 - Sacks by Steelers ROLB James Harrison
» 1 - TDs by Bengals WR A.J. Green vs. Steelers DC Dick LeBeau in one quarter
» 2 - TDs by former Bengals WR Chad Ochocinco vs. LeBeau in 14 games
» 745 -  Receiving yards for Green
» 610 - Combined receiving yards for Andre Johnson, The Ocho and T.J. Houshmandzadeh
» 16 - TD passes by Bengals rookie QB Andy Dalton
» 16 - TD passes by Chargers QB Philip Rivers
» 13 - TD passes by Ravens QB Joe Flacco
» 12 - Combined TD passes by Vikings QB Christian Ponder and Jags QB Blaine Gabbert
» 17 - TD passes by Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger

THE WEATHER
The National Weather Service in Wilmington, Ohio calls for partly sunny skies and zero percent of rain with a kickoff temperature of 51 degrees and a high during the second half of 54. Winds out of the south at about seven to 11 miles per hour.

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