Originally posted on Fox Sports Ohio  |  Last updated 11/12/11
Pittsburgh Steelers (6-3) at Cincinnati Bengals (6-2) GAME SNAPSHOTKICKOFF: Sunday, 1 p.m. ET GAMEDATE: 111311 SURFACE: FieldTurf PREDICTION: Steelers 23-16 KEYS TO THE GAME: Bengals rookie QB Andy Dalton, a four-year starter at TCU, hasn't shown his inexperience but that could change against a high-pressure defense. He's learned to trust rookie WR A.J. Green even in tight coverage, keeping the offense churning despite RB Cedric Benson showing little burst. Without that big-play threat, the pressure -- quite literally -- is on Dalton. Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger has three straight 300-yard passing games and has alleviated pressure with short drops and quick passes. Cincinnati needs its second-ranked run defense to stuff RB Rashard Mendenhall so Roethlisberger becomes more vulnerable in longer passing situations. FAST FACTS: Pittsburgh is 11-1 against rookie starting quarterbacks under defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau since 2004. ... The Bengals have four defensive linemen with multiple sacks. INSIDE THE CAMPSSteelers Injuries may play another important part in how the Steelers line up on defense against the Cincinnati Bengals as Pittsburgh tries to stay within a whisker of the top in the AFC North Division Sunday. It appears that LaMarr Woodley, their sack leader with nine, will miss a second consecutive game with a hamstring injury. And now a new injury has popped up: safety Troy Polamalu, the 2010 NFL defensive player of the year, has missed both practices this week with a rib injury. Polamalu is the one player who can affect the style of defense the Steelers play. Without him they have been at times ordinary on defense. They have won without Woodley and without James Harrison and James Farrior, but they rarely do so without Polamalu. Farrior may return after missing two games with a calf injury, and James Harrison returned with a vengeance after missing four games with a broken orbital bone -- he had three sacks and a forced fumble against Baltimore last Sunday. Hines Ward, knocked from that game by a helmet-to-helmet hit from Ray Lewis (which cost him 20,000), went through a full practice both Wednesday and Thursday and should play against the Bengals. For the second straight week, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will face one of the highest-ranked defenses in the NFL. "I don't think they have one or two standout guys; they have 11, 12, 13, 14, guys that buy in, young guys with high motors on the outside at the end that get a lot of pressure on the quarterback," Roethlisberger said. "They do it with confusion. They do a lot of double-barrel stuff, things like that." Bengals Cedric Benson and the Bengals' running game gained a little more consistency in last week's win over Tennessee, but if they are going to win their sixth straight and beat Pittsburgh on Sunday, they need that to continue. Benson averaged 3.9 yards per carry against the Titans, which was his highest per carry average since he ran for 104 yards in the Week 4 win over Buffalo. He also had four carries of 10 yards or more. He is fourth in the AFC in carries (137) but the Bengals have been working Bernard Scott in more. With Pittsburgh and Baltimore coming up in back-to-back weeks, Benson has been looking forward to the resumption of division play. "I've been waiting for these to come around and to get into some high intensity atmospheres," Benson said. "I felt good out there (last week). It was good to get some attempts, get a chance to make something happen." Not since Rudi Johnson in 2004 has a Bengals running back rushed for over 100 yards against the Steelers and Benson had one of the worst games of his career the last time these two teams met with 19 yards on eight carries. Said Benson about the run game in general: "Things are a little bit different this season. We're doing a lot more rotating, so I can't really address the consistency. Whether it's there, not there, when it's there when it's not there. I just try to be as consistent as I can be." PERSONNEL NEWSSteelers --LB James Harrison says he was not fined for a hit against Ray Rice Sunday that ESPN said would "likely" draw a fine. Harrison, who led the Steelers with 100,000 in fines last season, hasn't been fined in 2011. --DE Al Woods was claimed off waivers from Seattle. Woods, who spent the 2010 season on Pittsburgh's practice squad, will be the No. 4 end. --QB Ben Roethlisberger, off to a blistering pace with 2,632 yards passing, has a slight right shoulder injury after he stretched his arm out to try to cross the goal line last Sunday. He is not on their injury list. --WR Hines Ward needs 40 receiving yards to hit 12,000 and 20 receptions to hit 1,000. He is fourth on the team with 26 catches and 258 yards. --WR Jerricho Cotchery is getting more playing time with Emmanuel Sanders out. Cotchery had three of his four 2011 receptions Sunday vs. Baltimore. Bengals --DE Carlos Dunlap (hamstring) did not practice for a second straight day and is doubtful for Sunday's game. --TE Jermaine Gresham (hamstring) did not practice and was limited on Wednesday. He is questionable for Sunday. --CB Adam Jones (hamstring) did not practice and was limited on Wednesday. He is questionable for Sunday. --TE Donald Lee (foot) did not practice for a second straight day. He is doubtful for Sunday. --LB Rey Maualuga (ankle) was limited in practice but said his ankle feels better. He should start after missing the past three games.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Report: Grizzlies want Kevin Durant in free agency

WATCH: Karl-Anthony Towns throws down monster dunk

Dos Anjos: McGregor will 'break like a girl' at UFC 196

WATCH: D'Angelo Russell hit in groin by LeBron pass

Kobe Bryant has great response to Tyronn Lue story

Report: St. Louis Blues no longer interested in Jonathan Drouin


Doc Rivers: Warriors have 'swagger' of defending champion

Damian Lillard added as a finalist for 2016 U.S. Olympic Team

Celtics legend Paul Pierce prepares for what ‘could be’ his last game in Boston

Free-agent WR Josh Morgan accidentally shot himself, charged with crime

Jon Beason retires after nine NFL seasons

Brewers Association sends Peyton Manning case of craft beer

Fighter says sex before fight partly to blame for loss

Kevin McHale: James Harden being out of shape hurt Rockets early

WATCH: Kevin Love re-injures left shoulder

Johnny Manziel’s grandpa on ex-girlfriend: ‘The girl has her problems’

Andy Dalton reunited with missing luggage thanks to social media

Chad ‘Ochocinco’ Johnson used to soak his ankles in urine

Why Tom Thibodeau needs to be in New York

Defensemen in high demand as NHL trade deadline looms

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

Security guard indicted for assaulting University of Houston football fan

The LeBron-Kobe rivalry and Finals matchup that never was

Mario Williams recognizes Bills may release him

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.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

The NCAAB power rankings

Report: Kings to keep coach George Karl

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

Report: Knicks fire coach Derek Fisher

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Best and worst from Super Bowl 50

Six best plays from Super Bowl 50

Eli doesn't look thrilled as Peyton wins Super Bowl

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker