The Cincinnati Bengals (8-6) come into Pittsburgh to face the Steelers (7-7) in what may be the most important match-up of the week. Giants-Ravens and 49ers-Seahawks will give the game a run for its money, but on paper, the idea of two bitter divisional rivals battling to eliminate each other from playoff contention wins out.
Of course that’s on paper. In reality the Steelers are sliding and desperately trying to hold on to the remnants of a season that has been devastated by injury and terrible play at essential points. Meanwhile the Bengals have gone hot then cold then hot again to be a shade above .500.
So this could be called the changing of the guard, the surging Bengals are replacing the ageing, floundering Steelers. But not so quick. The Bengals were unable to make much of an impact when they faced the Steelers earlier this year. Despite leading 14-3 at one point, the Bengals collapsed spectacularly and the Steelers walked away 24-17 victors.