Originally written on This Given Sunday  |  Last updated 11/15/14
Pittsburgh_steelers_versus_e8c9
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 position. The Steelers beat the Bengals in their first meeting this season, giving the Steelers the potential tie-breaker if they win on Sunday. The other point to consider is that the Bengals play the Ravens in week 17, while the Steelers play the Browns. Although Cleveland beat Pittsburgh in week 12, don't expect it to happen again. With the last wildcard spot in the AFC likely being decided this weekend, the bulk of the pressure will fall on the two quarterbacks. Andy Dalton shocked everyone by proving to be the most pro-ready quarterback in last year's draft. On the other sideline, Ben Roethlisberger has won a pair of Super Bowls out of his three Super Sunday appearances, and he's widely considered one of the league's best quarterbacks. Advantage Pittsburgh. The Bengals will need a variety of facets of Sunday's game to fall in their favor if they have any hope of beating the Steelers. They have to be able to control turnovers. The Steelers haven't been taking the ball away much of late, but it only takes one or two big plays from that defense to blow the game wide open. The Bengals will also need to contain Ben Roethlisberger. My theory with Roethlisberger has always been one of containment, not complete prevention. When you try to outright prevent Roethlisberger from making plays, you tend to miss something, giving up one or two massive plays. By containing him to the pocket, you limit those opportunities, and you give your secondary a chance to make plays. Big games are what the Steelers play for. They're almost always in a position to make the postseason, and that's the case because they make big plays when it matters most. That's the type of football you can expect from Pittsburgh on Sunday, and that's the type of football the Bengals will have to be able to match to knock off the Steelers. Look, this is very nearly a de-facto playoff game, and it's the best matchup for my money on this weekend's slate of games. [follow]
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao close to deal for fight

TJ Lang: Suh wanted to fight me after stepping on Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Hernandez jurors allowed to watch Super Bowl

Tiger misses cut: ‘I’m only doing this so I won’t get fined’

Roger Goodell grilled on Deflategate during presser

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Rex Ryan: Seahawks need to ‘take the air out of the football’

J.J. Watt buys cabin in the middle of nowhere to train

Six teams have done background work on Peterson

NBA set to earn $700M through streaming deal in China

Wade Phillips is the best coordinator hire this offseason

Bill Belichick gives understated scouting report of Tom Brady

WATCH: Jimmy Butler throws down half-court alley-oop

President Obama zings Patriots over Deflate-gate

Each major conference's Player Of The Year candidates

Super Bowl XLIX preview and predictions: Patriots-Seahawks

49 Stops to Super Bowl XLIX

Most unexpected MLB free agent signings of past 10 years

Five most villainous Super Bowls of all time

Super Bowl ad focuses on acceptance of gay athletes

Foster says UT boosters paid him $40-50K while in college

Ranking the repeat Super Bowl champions

Eric Decker to Sherman: Time your conception a little better

Could Katy Perry and Russell Wilson be dating?

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

Obama zings Pats over Deflate-gate

Each major conference's POY candidates

Super Bowl XLIX preview and predictions: Patriots vs. Seahawks

The 13 things we want to see in Super Bowl XLIX

49 Stops to Super Bowl XLIX

Tiger Woods, misses cut: ‘I’m only doing this so I won’t get fined’

Ranking the repeat SB champions

Roger Goodell grilled on Deflategate

Katy Perry, Russell Wilson dating?

Rex Ryan has advice for Seahawks

Super Bowl: Things you can't control

LeBron and the Cavs are ready to make a run

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.