An inability to close out road games and a short-handed lineup have the Pittsburgh Steelers carrying a losing record this late into a season for the first time in coach Mike Tomlin's tenure.
While they'll likely still be missing some players, the Steelers would appear to have their opportunity to end their road drought Sunday night as they've won 10 of 11 in Cincinnati. The Bengals, however, are eager to rebound from their own late collapse to another AFC North rival and avoid a third straight defeat.
Pittsburgh had started 6-2 or better in each of coach Mike Tomlin's first five seasons, but entering this game 2-3 has the Steelers concerned about their playoff hopes. They've reached the postseason in eight of the last 11 years, made three Super Bowl appearances and won two championships.
"The panic button, we're tapping on it," linebacker Larry Foote said. "We ain't got two hands on it, but we're kind of nibbling on it a little bit. ... We can't lose no more, that's the approach. Fi...