FACT: The Steelers have won the last five meetings between these two teams. FACT: Ben Roethlisberger has never lost at Paul Brown Stadium. These facts can be used to argue a win for either team. Either the Steelers are a lock against the Bengals, or the Bengals will be out to beat the Steelers, for a change. I have heard many people saying that this game would be a slam dunk for the Steelers. That is never a good way to think. It’s easy to get caught up in the thought that the game is a win before it starts and not play hard. That is when teams lose games that should be wins.

The Steelers will be without Troy Polamalu again, and his replacement, Tyrone Carter will be playing with a bruised thigh. The defense will have to be on their toes against Carson Palmer, and the Bengals running game has picked up recently. Last week in their win against the Packers, Cedric Benson ran for 141 yards. They have not lost when he is over 100 yards. Offensively, the Steelers will need to be able to rely more on the running game and not have to depend on Roethlisberger and the passing game.

Here are some key matchups to look out for tomorrow:

Steelers CB Ike Taylor vs. Bengals WR Chad Ochocinco
Ochocinco was once a major threat. He has not been putting up the numbers that he had in the past. On the other hand, Palmer is healthy and Ochocinco should be playing much better. On the other hand, and I think this is the hand that will matter tomorrow, Ike Taylor has always had #85’s number. Don’t expect Chad to score any touchdowns this week.

Steelers S Tyrone Carter vs. Bengals TE Daniel Coats
Last week, the Bears took advantage of the fact that Polamalu is hurt and threw the ball often to TE Greg Olsen. And even though Carter got in some great hits, there was a catch by Olsen that factored big in the Bear’s game winning drive. With the bruised thigh, the Bengals will try to take advantage of Carter by passing to Coats often.

Cincinnati Bengals vs. Streaks
Ben Roethlisberger has never lost when playing in Ohio (Browns and Bengals). The Steelers have won the last 8 times they have played in Cincinati. It seems that luck is against the Bengals, let’s hope they are superstitious.

Both these teams really should be 2-0 and they will also both be very interested in winning thier first divisional matchup. My prediction is Steelers 21-Bengals 17

(Picture Source)


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