Posted: 3:10 a.m.
Eight days after beating the Bengals in a shootout, the Colts on Monday night gave the Bengals a shot to all but secure the AFC North title this Sunday in Pittsburgh.
Indy's 26-7 win over the Steelers dropped Pittsburgh to 7-4, a game behind the 8-3 Bengals, giving Cincinnati a huge opportunity to take a two-game lead in the division with four to play. A Bengals victory Sunday would also give them a 4-1 record in divisional games and a one-game lead over Pittsburgh with each having to play the Browns a final time.
Not since Dec. 2, 1990 have the rivals met in such an important late game. Both were 6-5 when they met at Three Rivers Stadium to decide the old AFC Central and the 16-12 Bengals victory spurred them to their last division title. An early look at the game by the numbers:
- 4 - Minutes it took the Colts to sack Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger on Monday night 58 - Minutes it took the Colts to sack Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer 124 - Yards Colts running back Edgerrin James gained Monday night 123 - Yards Bengals running back Rudi Johnson gained in Pittsburgh Oct. 3, 2004, when he became last back to rush for 100 against Steelers before James 86 - Yards rushing Steelers had against Colts 164 - Yards rushing Bengals had against Colts 92 - Yards rushing Colts had against Bengals 1 - Roethlisberger's road losses 7-6 - Palmer's record on the road 79 - Roethlisberger's completions this season 64 - Palmer's third-down completions this season as NFL's fourth best passer on third down 57 - Roethlisberger's passer rating vs. Colts 100.2 - Palmer's passer rating vs. Colts 104.7 - Peyton Manning's passer rating vs. Bengals 102.9 - Manning's passer rating vs. Steelers 24-19 - Record of Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis, who began NFL career on staff of Steelers head coach Bill Cowher 28-15 - Cowher's record in first 43 regular-season games 19-16 - Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau's record vs. Pittsburgh as Bengals secondary coach, defensive coordinator and head coach 11-2 - LeBeau's record vs. Bengals as Steelers secondary coach and defensive coordinator 6 - Steelers backs who have rushed for 100 yards vs. Bengals in 27 games since Cowher took over in 1992 (Bam Morris, Barry Foster, Kordell Stewart, Jerome Bettis, Duce Staley, Willie Parker) 4 - Bengals 100-yard rushing games since Cowher arrived: (Harold Green, two by Corey Dillon, Rudi Johnson) 32 - Age of Lewis on Dec. 2, 1990 33 - Age of Cowher on Dec. 2, 1990