Pittsburgh Steelers (10-6) at Cincinnati Bengals (12-4)
The Pittsburgh Steelers travel once again to the Cincinnati Bengals house this year for the rubber match this season. This year it was the road teams that beat the home teams in this bitter rivalry.
The first game was played early in November and won by the Bengals. The second game was played in Cincinnati for which they suffered more than a loss in the record books but also a loss of Pro Bowl headed QB Andy Dalton. He broke his finger making a tackle after an interception.
In steps AJ McCarron from the great NCAA powerhouse Alabama. He’s a confident guy whom the Steelers humbled in their win. It has been confirmed that McCarron will start while Dalton is healing from his injury.
The Bengals haven’t won a playoff game in coach Marvin Lewis’ time there. As hot as Pittsburgh is playing, I still think the Bengals pull this one out and here’s why.
They hate Pittsburgh. Is that enough? No; probably not, but no DeAngelo Williams in the backfield and a weak secondary is. One of the Bengal players admitted that tonight’s playoff game against the Steelers is their ‘Super Bowl.’ That will help them this week but all that effort will not help them next round.
AJ McCarron will add to the drama that is Andy Dalton’s playoff record of 0-4. He’ll come in and ride the emotion of the bitter rivalry and secure the victory, a first for head coach Marvin Lewis. The next week they will travel to New England, enter Andy Dalton, and another Bengal’s loss.
Ooooh the drama.
Big Ben will try and do what he does but with the poor weather and no running game it will not be enough.
My Pick: Cincinnati Bengals 24 Pittsburgh Steelers 20