Bengals-Steelers Preview






DECEMBER 23, 2012

TIME: 1 p.m. Sunday

PLACE: Heinz Field (Grass)

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

NATIONAL RADIO: Dial Global Radio sports with Tom McCarthy play-by-play and Tony Boselli analyst.

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

CIN: OUT: Starting FB Chris Pressley (knee) got hurt late in the first quarter of last Thursday's win in Philadelphia and went on season-ending IR. K Mike Nugent (kicking calf) didn't practice Thursday after being limited Wednesday and could miss his third straight game. Backup CB Dre Kirkpatrick (concussion) didn't practice Thursday after going full Wednesday and that would indicate he's not going. Backup RB Cedric Peerman (ankle), who has missed the last two games, was limited Wednesday and Thursday. Starting LT Andrew Whitworth (concussion) was full go Thursday after being limited Wednesday. Starting RT Andre Smith (foot) surfaced on the injury report Thursday as limited but indications are he'll be OK.

PIT: Starting CB Ike Taylor (ankle) isn't expected to play. Starting CB Keenan Lewis (hip) got injured late last week in Dallas and didn't practice Thursday after being limited Wednesday. Starting CB Cortez Allen (groin) went full Wednesday and Thursday after missing last week's game in Dallas. Starting SS Troy Polamalu is expected to go after missing Wednesday and Thursday with a non-injury issue. Backup WR Emmanuel Sanders (ribs) went full Thursday after being limited Wednesday. Starting RT Mike Adams (ankle) was limited Wednesday and Thursday after missing the last three games.  
» Complete Injury Report

Steelers lead regular season series, 52-32, and postseason series, 1-0; 27-14 at home, 7-4 at Heinz.

» The 8-6 Bengals need a win over the 7-7 Steelers to clinch a wild card playoff berth for their fourth postseason appearance in the last eight seasons.

» A Bengals victory would mark the first time since the 1981-82 teams qualified for the postseason that they have gone to the playoffs in back-to-back seasons.

» A win would make the Bengals the sixth AFC team to make the playoffs for the fourth time since 2005, joining the Patriots, Steelers, Ravens, Colts and Chargers.

» Counting his stint in 1995-96, former Bengals head coach Dick LeBeau makes his 23rd appearance as the Steelers defensive coordinator against his old club. That's more than half of the 45 games he was the head coach for Cincinnati.

» LeBeau's linebackers coach on that '95 Steelers staff was Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis. Bengals tight ends coach and Pittsburgh-area native Jonathan Hayes had a 32-yard catch for the Steelers in the '95 game in Cincinnati as Pittsburgh erased a 31-13 third-quarter deficit in a 49-31 win.

» The last time the Bengals played the Steelers in a game they needed to win to make the playoffs, Pittsburgh knocked off the Bengals in OT in the 2006 season finale at Paul Brown Stadium in Bill Cowher's last game as coach.

» Sunday is the 40th anniversary of the Immaculate Reception at Three Rivers Stadium, running back Franco Harris's remarkable catch in the last minute that lifted the Steelers over the Raiders in an AFC playoff game. The Bengals didn't make the playoffs that season, but one of their eight wins came at Riverfront in the second game of the year when Horst Muhlmann kicked five field goals in a 15-10 victory over the Steelers.

» The Bengals have played the Steelers more than any other team with 85 games. Another AFC North rival, Cleveland, is second with 79.

CIN: 9th in scoring, 18th in offense (11th rushing, 17th passing); 10th in scoring defense, 6th in defense (9th rushing, 12th passing), T-13th in turnover margin at plus-3.

PIT: 19th in scoring, 19th in offense (26th rushing, 10th passing); 8th in scoring defense, First in defense (4th rushing, first passing), 29th in turnover margin at minus-14.

CIN: Marvin Lewis 77-80-1 regular season, 0-3 postseason in his 10th season; 5-15 vs. Steelers

PIT: Mike Tomlin 67-35 in his sixth season; 9-2 vs. Lewis and Bengals

The National Weather Service in Wilmington, Ohio is calling for mostly cloudy skies with no chance of precipitation and a temperature of 33 degrees. Winds out of the south and west at 10 miles per hour and gusting up to 15 miles per hour make the temperature feel like it's in the mid-to-upper 20s.

» 4-5 - Marvin Lewis's record at Heinz Field
» 10-5 - Bengals QB Andy Dalton's road record
» 14-4 - Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger's record vs. Bengals
» 34-9 - Roethlisberger's AFC North record
» 26-26 - Bengals AFC North record since 2004
» 46 - Dalton's TD passes in first 30 NFL starts
» 39 - Roethlisberger's TD passes in first 30 NFL starts
» 0-6 - Dalton's record vs. Pittsburgh and Baltimore
» 17-7 - Dalton's record vs. rest of NFL
» 75 - Age of Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau
» 71 - Combined age of Dalton and starting WRs A.J. Green and Marvin Jones
» 43 - Bengals NFL-leading sacks
» 27 - Steelers sacks
» 48 - Bengals sack record set in 2001
» 11 - Green's AFC-leading TD catches
» 11 - Combined TD catches for Steelers WRs Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown
» 21 - Career interceptions for Bengals CB Leon Hall, tied for fifth on franchise list with Tory James, four behind fourth-place Lemar Parrish

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