Found December 20, 2012 on
If we were doing the “confidence points” thing that is popular in college bowl pools – from 1-10 with 10 being the most confident I could possibly be about the Bengals beating the Steelers in Pittsburgh this Sunday … I would go with a 3.5. I don’t think it’s some insurmountable challenge – the 2012 Steelers are just not very good – but they’ll probably use their Jedi mind tricks over the Bengals and beat them as usual. However, the Bengals have some things going for them – like one of the best defensive lines in the NFL (more on that later) – and a win wouldn’t completely shock me. So, I’m going with a 3.5 for my confidence points for now.
Interestingly, that is also the point spread of this game in which Cincinnati can clinch a spot in the playoffs with a win. The spread actually opened at 4.5 points in favor of Pittsburgh, but the money is going the Bengals’ way. Intriguing, indeed.
Hopefully my instinct is off on this one because it would not only be nice to make the playoffs for the third time in four years, it would be sweet to do it at Heinz Field in front of the Pittsburgh faithful.
About That D-Line
How good is the Bengals’ defensive front? Well, this pretty much sums it up: From everything I’ve gathers, the coaches think very highly of second-round pick Devon Still and third-rounder Brandon Thompson – both defensive tackles – but they have been inactive the last several weeks because there simply isn’t room for them in the rotation right now. The Bengals carry nine defensive linemen and there is only space for seven to suit up on game days. So, you have a second-round pick and a third-round pick, both who the coaches like, who can't even see the field because of the quality depth.
The Magnificent Seven includes third-year DT Geno Atkins – who is the second-best player on the entire team in my opinion, behind only wide receiver/freak A.J. Green. (Both former Georgia players as well, which is the case with half the Bengals’ roster. Alright, “only” six players on the active roster hail from UGA.) Atkins might be the best pass-rushing D-tackle in the NFL and has racked up 10.5 sacks this season. He made the Pro Bowl last year, will so again this year and is set for a huge payday this offseason. And the former fourth-round pick (what a steal) is a restricted free agent after this year, so I’m confident he’ll be back in Cincinnati.
Fourth-year DE Michael Johnson, a former third-round pick, is having himself a career-year with 8.5 sacks.
The rest of the D-line includes DT Domata Peko, DE Carlos Dunlap, DE Wallace Gilberry, DE Robert Geathers and DT Pat Sims. Gilberry is a fifth-year pro that the Bengals plucked off the waiver wire and he has five sacks for the season. After a slow start, Dunlap has played extremely well of late and has 4.5 sacks on the year. Peko is not a guy that is going to put up big stats – which can be said for a lot of good DT’s – but he’s been his usual steady self. Geathers is versatile enough to slide down to tackle on passing downs and the veteran has three sacks on the season.
If there is a better D-line in the NFL from top-to-bottom, I’d love to see it. I’m talking about literally from 1-9. The defensive line is the clear strength of the Bengals’ entire team this season. The group is the biggest reason Cincinnati heads to Pittsburgh with an 8-6 record and a chance to taste the postseason once again.
By the way, if the Bengals win this Sunday and the Ravens lose to the Giants, the Bengals will host the Ravens for the AFC North championship on Dec. 30. I’ll admit I never thought the Bengals would be in this position this season. I thought they’d take a small step backward and finish 8-8. But it’s been fun being wrong. (Well, let’s hope I’m wrong; still a chance they could finish 8-8 of course.)
Also, I’ll be the one in Pittsburgh with my Bengals’ face paint on, likely shirtless.
Hell naw. It’s called the TV in the man cave and that’s exactly where I’ll be to watch this one. Who Freakin’ Dey!
BEST OF MAXIM
If it doesn't happen now, when? That is the simple question that the Bengals must address as they face Pittsburgh on Sunday. With a victory, the Bengals advance to the postseason in consecutive seasons for the first time in 30 years. They also beat one of their division rivals to show they have taken the next step. In order to do that though, quarterback Andy Dalton is going...
The Cincinnati Bengals are preparing to play the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on Sunday and their first injury report of the week is now out.
Not practicing on Wednesday was defensive end Carlos Dunlap (illness), who sat out sick. Dunlap has 33 combined tackles on the season with 4.5 sacks and 4 forced fumbles to his credit. He is expected to be ready by Sunday.
CINCINNATI (AP) -- Andy Dalton needs to play much better than he has in the past few weeks if the Bengals are going to pull off a franchise rarity.
Dalton was indecisive and repeatedly missed throws during a 34-13 win in Philadelphia that was set up by the Eagles' fumbling. The Bengals (8-6) moved into playoff position with the win, and can clinch a spot by beating the Steelers...
The Cincinnati Bengals have wrapped up their practice preparations for the Sunday game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field and their final injury report shows a few new additions.
Cornerback Adam Jones (hamstring), linebacker Vontaze Burfict (illness), and long snapper Clark Harris (not injury related) were all added to the injury report on Friday. Jones is listed as...
Last week: 14 (-1)
Net points per drive: 0.49 (7th)
DVOA: 4.4% (12th)
Weighted DVOA: 14.6% (7th)
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The 2013 Ohio State Spring football Game will be played April 13 in Cincinnati at Paul Brown Stadium, officials from the Ohio State Department of Athletics, Cincinnati Bengals and Hamilton County announced today.
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This is it. This is the THE statement game of all statement games. Beat the Steelers in THEIR house to earn a spot in the postseason. You want to be considered one of the best teams in the AFC, scratch that, the AFC NORTH you must win this game. Otherwise its another year of the same old Bengals. The Bengals backed in a year ago by losing their last game against Baltimore. There’s...
Cincinnati Bengals (8-6) at Pittsburgh Steelers (7-7)
Apparently the roof is falling in Pittsburgh. They’ve gone from favored by 4.5 to favored by 3 (passing two key numbers) and the public is still on Cincinnati. Why? Because they lost in overtime in Dallas in a game that was meaningless for them because they still control their own destiny? Because they lost another game as non...
The Bengals could lock up a wildcard position in this year's playoffs with a win Sunday against the Steelers. Meanwhile, the Steelers could all but lock up a wildcard position by beating the Bengals. In short, the 6th seed in the AFC playoffs will likely be decided this weekend.
While the Steelers trail the Bengals in the wildcard race by one game, they aren't in a powerless...
PITTSBURGH – The Cincinnati Bengals lead the NFL with 43 sacks and the leader of their pass-rushing mob is a short defensive tackle who split time at his position at the University of Georgia and ...
In my weekly column, we take a long look at two more rookies. I will compare their performance to date against my original expectations of them. Let’s continue this series off by looking back at Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Marvin Jones, and Baltimore Ravens running back Bernard Pierce after their Week Fourteen Games:
Marvin Jones, WR CIN
My original thoughts of the wide...
Season 3, Episode 58 of The Terrible Podcast is up and co-host David Todd and I get right after at as we look at the health of the Pittsburgh Steelers heading into the Sunday game at Heinz Field against the Cincinnati Bengals. We speculate who's in and who's out for both teams in this very important game.
David and I give you our feelings on the team as they currently sit...