Defending AFC North champions Cincinnati Bengals could be facing pay back when Pittsburgh Steelers arrive for the prime-time showdown at the Paul Brown Stadium in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
Bengals and Steelers were vying for top spot in week 10 last season when Bengals 18-12 win in Pittsburgh started a five game slide that ruined the Steeler’s bid to retain their position as top dogs of the AFC North.
Now, Cincinatti have come through October 0-4 and how Steelers would love to let them know the sour taste of a five game skid.
First, Mike Tomlin must lift the Steelers after they blew their chance to overtake Baltimore Ravens at the top of the division last Sunday with a lacklustre show when going down 20-10 in New Orleans.
The bookmakers must be sold on Ben Roethlisberger’s record at Cincinatti; the Steelers quarter-back is 6-1 when visiting and they’ve handicapped his team by six points with Bodog offering odds of 7/8 for Steelers to beat the handicap.
This fixture has been a banker for Pittsburgh in the last decade but Cincinatti ended the Steeler’s eight game winning streak in Ohio when recovering from an eleven point deficit in the last quarter to win 23-20.
The Bengals are unlikely to find success against the league’s best rushing defence and their hopes could lie in taking the aerial route.
Steeler’s safety Troy Polamalu is rated one of the best in the business but has been out of sorts lately and the passing defence is conceding an average of 261 yards over the last four games.
Bengal’s quarter-back Carson Palmer needs to find some luck to take advantage, he’s having trouble connecting with Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco who have dropped too many picks.
That said, Owens has received a touchdown pass in each of the last four games and Paddy Power bet 13/10 he’ll make it five on the spin.
On the injured list, the Steelers are without DE Aaron Smith (triceps) and Bengals have ruled out DE Jonathan Fanene (hamstring) while DT Tank Johnson (knee) and LB Roddrick Muckleroy Ankle) missed practise to receive treatment.