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It’s a week 17 matchup in the NFL as a pair of AFC North rivals take the field in the Steel City. The Cincinnati Bengals are on the road as they travel to face the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday afternoon. Cincinnati fell 26-18 on the road to Cleveland last Sunday in their week 16 contest. Pittsburgh was dropped 31-28 on the road by New Orleans last Sunday in their last contest. The Steelers own a 61-35 advantage in the all-time regular-season series between the teams. Pittsburgh has won seven straight meetings, including a 28-21 road win in the first meeting this season on October 14
Cincinnati Bengals Close Disappointing Season
Cincinnati had a hot start to the season, jumping out to a 4-1 mark after five games. Things have unraveled since as the Bengals have dropped eight of 10 after falling to Cleveland last week. Cincinnati was in a 23-0 hole after three quarters and saw their attempts to rally fall short. The Bengals were decimated in total offense, getting outgained 493-209. Cincinnati also lost the first down battle 23-15 and the time of possession by a 35:31 to 24:29 margin. Neither team turned the ball over in the contest though the Bengals did block a punt to set up a late score. Cincinnati is 8-7 ATS this season and the over is 8-5-2 in their games.
The Bengals throw for 214.6 yards per game so far this season while adding 103.8 yards per game on the ground this year. Cincinnati is 23rd in the league in scoring offense as they put up 23.7 points per game but they rank dead last in scoring defense by allowing 29.3 points per contest. Andy Dalton is 226 of 365 passing for 2,566 yards with 21 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He was sacked 21 times and added 99 rushing yards before going down with a thumb injury in week 12 that ended his season. Jeff Driskel is 93 of 152 for 908 yards with six touchdown and two interceptions. He adds 117 yards and two scores on the ground. Joe Mixon is the lead back in the ground game as he has 224 carries for 1,063 yards plus eight scores. Giovani Bernard (53 carries, 204 yards, three TD) is the next back in line. Tyler Boyd leads the team with 76 catches for 1,028 yards plus seven scores. A.J. Green finished his injury-plagued season with 46 carries for 694 yards plus six touchdowns. C.J. Uzomah (42 receptions, 433 yards, three TD), Mixon (42 catches, 294 yards, TD) and John Ross (20 receptions, 209 yards, seven TD) have to step up with the top two targets missing. Randy Bullock is 38 of 40 on extra points and 17 of 21 on field goal attempts with a long of 51 this season.
Pittsburgh Steelers Fighting to Keep Playoff Hopes Alive
Pittsburgh lost for the fourth time in five games as they were knocked off on the road by the Saints. The Steelers now have to win here and have the Ravens lose to the Browns in week 17 to make the postseason. Pittsburgh suffered their fifth loss by seven points or less this season with the defeat. The Steelers held a 429-370 edge in total offense, picked up 26 first downs while allowing 24, and held a 31:20 to 28:40 edge in time of possession. Pittsburgh turned the ball over twice while forcing only one takeaway. The two biggest plays in the game occurred in the final five minutes: the Steelers were stopped on a fake punt on fourth and five in their own territory to set up the Saints’ winning drive. Then, in the final minute, JuJu Smith-Schuster fumbled the ball in Saints territory with Pittsburgh driving to at least tie the game. Pittsburgh is 8-6-1 ATS this season while the over is 8-7 in their games.
The Steelers are throwing for an average of 315.3 yards per contest while adding 92 yards per game on the ground. Pittsburgh is 4th in the league in scoring offense as they put up 27.5 points per game while they are 15th in scoring defense by allowing 23.1 points per contest. Ben Roethlisberger has completed 421 of 630 passes for 4,842 yards with 33 touchdown passes against 15 interceptions while getting sacked 23 times. He is third on the team with 95 yards and three touchdowns. Joshua Dobbs completed six of 12 passes for 43 yards plus an interception this season. James Conner has run the ball 201 times for 909 yards and 12 touchdowns. Jaylen Samuels (54 carries, 254 yards) and Stevan Ridley (29 carries, 80 yards, TD) are next in line on the ground. In the passing game, JuJu Smith-Schuster leads the team with 106 receptions for 1,389 yards and six touchdowns. Antonio Brown (104 grabs, 1297 yards, team-high 15 scores), Conner (52 catches, 467 yards, TD), along with tight ends Vance McDonald (47 receptions, 571 yards, four TD) and Jesse James (30 catches, 423 yards, two TD) are all valuable targets for Roethlisberger in the aerial assault. Chris Boswell is 43 of 48 on extra points and 13 of 20 on field goal tries with a long of 50 yards this season. He was placed on injured reserve earlier this week: Matt McCrane was signed to take over the kicking job.
- Steelers are 5-0-1 ATS in their last 6 games following an ATS win
- Steelers are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 home games vs. a team with a losing road record
- Steelers are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games after allowing less than 90 yards rushing in their previous game
- Bengals are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games after allowing more than 250 yards passing in their previous gam