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Steelers at Bengals Wildcard Preview


TIME: 8:15 p.m. Saturday, AFC Wild Card Game presented by Fifth Third Bank

PLACE:  Paul Brown Stadium  (synthetic)

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: Westwood One Sports: Kevin Harlan (play-by-play), Dan Fouts (analyst), Laura Okim (sideline).

TV:  CBS broadcast crew of Jim Nantz (play-by-play), Phil Simms (analyst), Tracy Wolfson  (sideline) on Channel 12 in Cincinnati, Channel 7 in Dayton, Ohio, and Channel 27 in Lexington, KY.


*CIN: *

*OUT: *Backup DT Brandon Thompson (knee).

There are no classifications as of Thursday.

Starting QB Andy Dalton (thumb) and starting FB Ryan Hewitt (knee) haven't practiced this week and look to be out. Slot CB Leon Hall (concussion/back), who missed about half of Sunday's game, practiced full Wednesday and Thursday.

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*PIT: *There are no classifications as of Thursday. Starting RB DeAngelo Willams (ankle) didn't practice Wedesday and Thursday and appears doubtful.

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The 10-6 Steelers lead the 12-4 Bengals, 57-35; 28-19 in Cincinnati, 14-3 at PBS


»» With a victory the third-seeded Bengals move into a AFC Division game against the second-seeded  Patriots at Foxboro, Mass., 4:35 p.m. Saturday.

»» This Saturday's game comes 10 years and a day after the Steelers beat the Bengals in an AFC Wild Card Game at PBS, 31-17. The Bengals lost QB Carson Palmer on his first post-season pass when Steelers defensive end Kimo von Oelhoffen and former Bengal hit Palmer in the knee as he threw a 66-yard pass and tore his ACL.

»» The Bengals have no players on their roster from that game, but most of the coaching staff was here: head coach Marvin Lewis, offensive coordinator Hue Jackson (then the receivers coach), defensive coordinator Paul Guenther (then a defensive staff assistant), special teams coordinator Darrin Simmons, assistant head coach/ offensive line Paul Alexander, quarterbacks coach Ken Zampese, defensive line coach Jay Hayes, tight ends coach Jon Hayes, strength and conditioning coach Chip Morton.

»» The Steelers have four players left from that team: QB Ben Roethlisberger, TE Heath Miller, OLB James Harrison and LS Greg Warren.

»» The Bengals seek their first post-season victory since Jan. 6, 1991, 41-14, over the Houston Oilers at Riverfront Stadium. They built a 34-0 lead when three running backs and QB Boomer Esiason each scored TDs  (including an Ickey Woods Shuffle) as the Bengals did a number on Oilers backup QB Cody Carlson. Two weeks before in Riverfront, Hall-of-Famer Warren Moon broke his hand on rookie OLB James Francis' helmet

»» The Steelers seek their first play-off victory since the 2010 AFC title game at home, a 24-19 victory over the Jets that put them in a Super Bowl they lost to Green Bay. 

»» For the fourth time since 2005, the Bengals host a Wild Card Game and they start a third different QB in Andy Dalton. Palmer started in '05 and '09 vs. the Jets and Dalton started in '13 vs. the Chargers.

»» McCarron is trying to become the third Bengals QB to post a play-off victory along with Esiason (1988-90) and Ken Anderson (1981).

»» That win over the Bengals ten years ago is the Steelers' last Wild Card win. They lost to Jacksonville at home after the '07 season and to the Ravens last year at home. After the 2011 season they were beaten in Denver by backup QB Tim Tebow.

»» The Bengals have beaten the Steelers three times at PBS since it opened in 2000 with the winning QBs Jon Kitna (2001), Palmer (2009) and Dalton (2013)


CIN: 7th in scoring, 15th in offense (13th rushing, 15th       passing); 2nd in scoring defense, 11th in defense (7th      rushing, 20th passing), 3rd in turnover margin at plus-11.

PIT: T-4th in scoring, 3rd in offense (16th rushing, 3rd  passing); 11th in scoring defense, 21st in defense (5th  rushing, 30th passing), 16th in turnover margin at plus-2.


CIN: Marvin Lewis 112-100-2 in 13th season, 0-6 in postseason, 8-19 vs. Steelers.

PIT: Mike Tomlin 96-56 in eighth season, 5-4 in postseason, 13-5 vs. Bengals and Lewis.

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The National Weather Service in Wilmington, Ohio is calling for mostly cloudy skies and a kick-off temperature of about 45 degrees dropping to 42 by the end of the game with a 50 percent chance of rain and potential downpours at times. Winds out of the southeast at 10 to 15 miles per hour.


.606 _ Bengals regular-season winning percentage at PBS under Lewis

.542 _ Steelers regular-season road percentage under Tomlin

7-2_ Tomlin's record at PBS

.650 _ Bengals' regular-season winning percentage since 2011

.613 _ Steelers' regular-season winning percentage since 2011

5 _ Play-off berths for Bengals since 2011

3 _ Play-off berths for Steelers since 2011

0-4 _ Play-off record for Bengals since 2011

0-2 _ Play-off record for Steelers since 2011

57-6 _ Bengals outscored in second half of play-off games since 2011

59-37 _ Steelers outscored Bengals in second half of their last four games

200-169 _ Bengals edge in second half this season

3 _ NFL starts for Bengals QB AJ McCarron (2-1)

3 _ Super Bowl starts for Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger (2-1)

92 _ McCarron's career NFL passes

84 _ Roethlisberger's passes vs. Bengals this season

2 _ McCarron's career interceptions

6 _ Bengals S Reggie Nelson's career interceptions of Roethlisberger

6 _ TD passes allowed by Bengals at PBS this season

1,834 _ Receiving yards for Steelers Pro Bowl WR Antonio Brown this season, fourth most of all-time

1,912 _ Receiving yards combined for Bengals Pro Bowl WR A.J. Green and Pro Bowl TE Tyler Eifert

21 _Combined TDs for Steelers WRs Brown, Martavis Bryant, and Markus Wheaton

23 _ Combined TDs for Green and Eifert

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