Originally posted on WhoDeyFans  |  Last updated 12/19/12
In case you are living under a rock, let me state the obvious: Sunday’s game is huge.  Not your typical “big game” huge.  Assuming there’s no apocalypse on Friday, Sunday’s tilt in Pittsburgh becomes the equivalent of a large meteor hurling towards the earth.    That meteor’s name is Ben Roethlisberger, and the Bengals are Bruce Willis, Ben Affleck and crew.   If the Bengals defeat the Steelers at Heinz Field, they  not only punch their own ticket for the playoffs, but they also officially eliminate the Steelers from postseason contention-in front of their vocal, towel-waving fans. What a beautiful sight that would be!   If the Steelers win, the Bengals make the playoffs if the Steelers lose in week 17 to the Browns at home and the Bengals beat the Ravens in Cincinnati.  There are still scenarios for the Dolphins, but the Bengals have to lose both remaining games for that, and lets face it-if the Bengals can’t win either of these games they don’t deserve the berth in the first place.   Now, if the Bengals beat the Steelers, and the Giants beat the Ravens in a battle of reeling teams, then the week 17 match-up in Cincinnati is for the AFC North crown.   Looking at the current scenarios, if the Bengals were to lose that game (or otherwise earn the sixth seed) they will play at New England; a tough match. If the Bengals win the North, they will get the 4th seed, and host a home playoff game against the Colts: a much better draw.   But first things first: The Bengals must beat Pittsburgh.    This will be tough, and virtually every talking head is picking Pittsburgh based on the fact that they are at home, they’ve dominated the series as of late, and well, they’re the Steelers. This premise presumes that the Steelers will simply “out tough” the Bengals, or perform better in the clutch, or get the calls from the zebras (or some combination thereof). Based on history, I cannot discount this.   However, here are a few reasons for optimism:   The Bengals have won 5 of their last 6 games. The Steelers, meanwhile, have lost 4 of their last five.   Pittsburgh most recent home game was a 34-24 loss to the Chargers, whom the Bengals defeated in San Diego the previous week.   Turnovers decide games. The Steelers have a minus-14 turnover differential right now. The Bengals are plus-3.   Pittsburgh’s top corner back, Ike Taylor, has been ruled out, forcing back-up DB Cortez Allen to draw coverage against Bengals pro bowler A.J. Green. Allen himself is still recovering from a hip flexor injury that forced him out earlier this year.   The Bengals are 4-point underdogs. Every fan knows the Bengals play better as dogs.   The Bengals are 5-2 on the road this season.   And perhaps the least scientific reason: After 5 consecutive losses to Pittsburgh, the Bengals are simply due.  How many losses in a row can we sustain before we simply play better, and get more breaks than the other guy?    Think positively Who Dey Nation! 
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Novak Djokovic could miss rest of season with elbow injury

Reggie Jackson praises, urges caution with Aaron Judge

Panthers QB Cam Newton shows up to camp in best shape of career

Yankees progressing on deal to acquire Sonny Gray, Yonder Alonso

Report: Derrick Rose was unwilling to accept bench role with Lakers

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Stephen Strasburg expected to make next start for Nats

John Lackey makes history, hits four batters in one game

Report: Suns G Brandon Knight suffers torn ACL

The Cavaliers have one unhappy star and three options

Garrett walks out on media over Whitehead questions

D-Rose landing in Cleveland could be good for Cavs, himself

The 'Kyrie revolts against the King' quiz

The most memorable moments from the class of 2017 Baseball Hall of Fame inductees

BIG3 Ref Hotline Bling: James White slams the phone down

28 MLB trade deadline deal prospects since 2000 who went on to become All-Stars

Box Score 7/25: The pressure of the trade deadline is here

The 'When George Brett went completely batty' quiz

Finding the possible Achilles' heel for baseball’s best teams

Getaway Day: A pair of aces get lost in the shuffle

Sports & Politics Intersect: Trump casts shadow over U.S. Women's Open

Best of Yardbarker: General managers take the spotlight

The 'Pay that man his money' quiz

The unexpected rise of the Connecticut Sun

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 Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. 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

The 'Kyrie revolts against the King' quiz

BIG3 Ref Hotline Bling: James White slams the phone down

The 'When George Brett went completely batty' quiz

Finding the possible Achilles' heel for baseball’s best teams

Getaway Day: A pair of aces get lost in the shuffle

Sports & Politics Intersect: Trump casts shadow over U.S. Women's Open

The National League Wild Card is suddenly relevant again

The 'Pay that man his money' quiz

BIG3 Week 5: Pivotal make-or-break weekend in Chicago

The 'Let's show a little love for James Jones' quiz

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