Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 9/16/13
The Cincinnati Bengals have never made the playoffs three years in a row. The Pittsburgh Steelers have never missed the postseason in back-to-back seasons under coach Mike Tomlin. Those possibilities are both in play Monday night. While it’s only Week 2 of the NFL season, history shows that the loser of Monday night’s Steelers-Bengals matchup in Cincinnati is likely to be watching playoff football from home. Since 1990, only about 12 percent of teams that have started the season 0-2 have made the playoffs. Barring at tie, either Pittsburgh or Cincinnati will be staring at that number by around midnight. The Bengals are seven-point favorites at Bovada with a total of 41 and live betting. The Steelers looked really bad in Week 1, losing 16-9 at home to a Tennessee team that led the NFL in points allowed a year ago. Pittsburgh scored on a safety three seconds in, but its offense didn’t find the end zone until 1:23 remained in the game. The Steelers managed 195 yards of offense in losing their first home opener since 2002. Pittsburgh’s offensive line was a big question entering the year, and it’s a bigger one now. Ben Roethlisberger was sacked five times, and the Steelers lost Pro Bowl center Maurkice Pouncey to a season-ending knee injury in Week 1. In addition, backup running back LaRod Stephens-Howling and starting linebacker Larry Foote, who makes the defensive calls, also are now out for the year. Pittsburgh might be looking at much worse than a 0-2 start, as its next three games are against 2012 playoff teams. The Bengals are kicking themselves for giving away a game at Chicago in Week 1. They led 21-10 late in the third quarter before the Chicago offense woke up and the Bears won 24-21. Bengals linebacker Rey Maualuga committed a silly personal foul away from the play with 1:06 left in the game that gave Chicago a first down when the Bengals would have gotten the ball back with a chance to tie or win. Cincinnati also turned the ball over three times. Andy Dalton was picked off twice but otherwise was good, going 26-for-33 for 282 yards with two scores. A.J. Green showed why he’s the AFC’s best receiver, catching nine balls for 162 yards and two touchdowns. Monday’s game starts a tough stretch for Cincinnati, as the Bengals host Green Bay, visit Cleveland and host New England next. A loss would be devastating. The Bengals and Steelers split two meetings in 2012. In Week 7 in Cincinnati, the Steelers won 24-17 as one-point favorites. Pittsburgh’s defense held Cincinnati to 185 total yards. Dalton threw for just 105 yards, and Green caught one pass. Roethlisberger threw for 278 and a touchdown. Jonathan Dwyer, who was brought back by Pittsburgh last Monday after being cut before Week 1, rushed for 122 yards. In Week 16 in Pittsburgh, the Bengals won 13-10. Josh Brown‘s 43-yard field goal with 43 seconds left won it and clinched a playoff berth for Cincinnati. Dalton threw for 278 yards (116 to Green) but had no touchdowns and two interceptions. Roethlisberger threw for 220 with a touchdown and two picks and was sacked four times. The teams combined for 438 yards and six turnovers. It was the Bengals’ first win over Pittsburgh since 2009. Filed under: Headlines, NFL, Odds, Partner Staff

This article first appeared on NESN.com and was syndicated with permission.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Five teams that may be interested in Blake Griffin this summer

Nigel Hayes slams New York ahead of Sweet 16 game at MSG

Report: Tony Romo ‘believes it’s Texans or retirement’

Clay Matthews Sr. passes away at 88

WWE’s Kane is inching toward running for mayor in Tennessee

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Jung Ho Kang denied visa for DUI, may miss 2017 MLB season

Jets not ready to say Josh McCown will be starter

Sens owner on Sidney Crosby: He’s 'a whiner' and should be suspended for Methot slash

Report: Griffin could be growing more open to leaving Clippers

Brandon Brooks accepts wedding invite from Eagles fan

Report: Josh Gordon expected to get reinstatement update in May

Best of Yardbarker: Did Team USA's victory save the World Baseball Classic?

The Rewind: George Mason's improbable run to the Final Four

Breaking down the Naismith Award race

Box Score 3/24: Waiting on West Virginia

Eat, Drink, Watch: Weekends are for upsets

The 'Once again, Barry Bonds is the best power hitter in San Francisco' quiz

With Team USA's victory, World Baseball Classic (finally) lived up to its potential

The NFL distraction playbook

Which Sweet 16 team should you be rooting for?

The Aesthetic: The world of player exclusive sneakers

Lingering issues for each 2016 MLB postseason team

Box Score 3/23: Team USA wins their first WBC title

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Best of Yardbarker: Did Team USA's victory save the World Baseball Classic?

The Rewind: George Mason's improbable run to the Final Four

Breaking down the Naismith Award race

Eat, Drink, Watch: Weekends are for upsets

The 'Once again, Barry Bonds is the best power hitter in San Francisco' quiz

The NFL distraction playbook

With Team USA's victory the WBC (finally) lived up to its potential

The Aesthetic: The world of player exclusive sneakers

Which Sweet 16 team should you be rooting for?

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Steph Curry pushes OKC's buttons

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker