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Old 12-31-2006, 03:59 AM   #1
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Default Steelers looking for payback

Steelers looking for payback against Bengals
By Rob Biertempfel
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Sunday, December 31, 2006


After seeing their playoff hopes fizzle a week ago, the Steelers hope to get some payback today in their season finale against the Cincinnati Bengals.
The Bengals (8-7) have a slim chance to get into the postseason. They must win today -- thereby sweeping their season series against the Steelers (7-8) -- plus get a little help from at least one other team.

Cincinnati also needs either Oakland to beat the New York Jets, or upset victories by Kansas City and San Francisco.

Of course, the Steelers could make all the scoreboard watching in Cincy a moot point by beating the Bengals.

"It would make me feel a little bit better about my offseason if we can knock them out," Steelers linebacker Joey Porter said. "I don't want them to find a way in by beating us twice. That wouldn't sit well with me or anyone else in this locker room. If we can play the spoiler, then that's what we're going to do."

Coming into the season, this game was expected to be a showdown for the AFC North crown. Cincinnati and Pittsburgh each went 11-5 last season -- the Bengals won the division title on a tiebreaker, and the Steelers went on to win Super Bowl XL.

The Steelers were supposed to be building a new dynasty, while the Bengals were supposed to be on the rise after years in the dumps.

Instead, both teams are jockeying for runner-up status behind the playoff-bound Baltimore Ravens.

"There were a lot of expectations," Steelers receiver Hines Ward said. "We were supposed to be the two teams battling it out. It didn't work out that way."

The Bengals slid to the brink of elimination by losing their past two games, 34-16 against Indianapolis and 24-23 against Denver. They began the game against Denver able to clinch a playoff spot but lost when they botched a point-after kick with 41 seconds to play.

"There's been a lot of moments this season when we didn't finish things the way we should," Cincinnati coach Marvin Lewis said. "You put yourself in a situation where you're at the mercy of others.

"The only thing we can worry about now is the Steelers. It's a big game for us anytime we play them."

The Bengals pulled out a 28-20 victory in September at Heinz Field. For the Steelers, that was part of an agonizing 2-6 start to the season.

However, the Steelers have won their past five road games against Cincinnati, including a 31-17 rout in the AFC wild-card playoff round in January.

Lewis is 3-5 in his career against Steelers coach Bill Cowher. Today could be Lewis' last chance to improve that mark, as Cowher is considering retirement.

"It's going to be special," Lewis said. "If it is his last game there, it'll be a doggone shame."

If they win today, the Steelers will have gone 6-2 in the second half of the season.

"You want to end the season on a high," Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said. "Finishing the season 6-2 after starting the way we did can only build confidence going into the offseason -- and this will be a big offseason for us.

"There are so many questions out there (about) coach Cowher and guys on the team. There is so much turnaround every year with players; you lose guys, you get new guys. With this last game coming up, it will be interesting to see what happens afterwords."
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Old 12-31-2006, 06:32 AM   #2
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Default Re: Steelers looking for payback

we need alot of willie parker.
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Old 12-31-2006, 07:00 AM   #3
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Default Re: Steelers looking for payback

Unfortunately, I remember reading a similar article last week pertaining to the Ravens. Hopefully the final outcome is a little different.
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Old 12-31-2006, 09:55 AM   #4
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Default Re: Steelers looking for payback

Congratulations Coach

and

Thanks for the Memories!


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Old 12-31-2006, 09:59 AM   #5
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Default Re: Steelers looking for payback

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blitzburgh View Post
Congratulations Coach

and

Thanks for the Memories!


100% Sure huh? I`m leaning that way also, I`m stil at 98% I leaving the 2% just hoping he stays, but if he stays he needs to get his passion back,
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Old 12-31-2006, 10:17 AM   #6
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Default Re: Steelers looking for payback

"It would make me feel a little bit better about my offseason if we can knock them out," Steelers linebacker Joey Porter said. "I don't want them to find a way in by beating us twice. That wouldn't sit well with me or anyone else in this locker room. If we can play the spoiler, then that's what we're going to do."



Can I get an AMEN
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