The Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals will play in one of the biggest games of the season on Sunday. The Steelers are the defending AFC North champions and are coming off of a 13-3 season. The Bengals are 4-1 and lead the North as of right now. If the Steelers take this game on the road in Cincinnati, they reclaim their throne as favorites in the division and get their year back on track. If the Bengals win, they announce their legitimacy to a world that is skeptical considering the questionable quality of their wins so far. One team is trying to prove itself as a contender. The other is trying to hold on to their spot as one.
To watch the Steelers and the Bengals square off, tune in to CBS at 1:00 EST. The game will be called by Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts and Evan Washburn. The radio broadcast will be on Sirius channels 127 (Pittsburgh) and 82 (Cincinnati) as well as XM channels 390 (Pittsburgh) and 227 (Cincinnati). Out of market fans can, as always, stream the game on NFL Sunday Ticket as it will not be a nationally televised game.
The Steelers have won their last six games against the Bengals, nine out of their last 10 and 14 out of their last 17. That has not prevented the rivalry from becoming one of the fiercest in all of football. The Bengals and the Steelers despise each other, and every time they play, someone is bound to do something unnecessarily physical and incite some sort of conflict. Usually, that player is Vontaze Burfict. He has made illegal hits on several Steelers. Last season, JuJu Smith-Schuster laid a vicious block on him and stood over him afterward, drawing a one-game suspension for the play. This is the first time the Bengals will have seen the Steelers since.
They come into this game new and improved. Their explosive offense has returned to form this season with A.J. Green looking like one of the NFL’s best receivers once again. Cordy Glenn has stabilized a poor offensive line, and Geno Atkins has led one of the NFL’s best defensive lines. This is perhaps the most complete Cincinnati team in recent memory, and this is their opportunity to show the Steelers that they won’t be pushed around anymore.
But the Steelers pushed around the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday, dominating them en route to a 41-17 blowout. They got off to a slow start due in part to injuries and in part to their own bad habits, but the Steelers seem to be rolling now. They can’t afford to fall 2.5 games behind the Bengals this early, especially with a loss to the Ravens already in the books. The Steelers will give the Bengals all they can handle on Sunday. This should be one of the games of the week.