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|11-12-2009, 08:02 AM||#1|
Join Date: Aug 2009
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STEELERS & BENGALS BATTLE IT OUT FOR DIVISION LEAD
Justin Sobieralski-WPAathletics.com STAFF
PITTSBURGH- It’s week 10 in the NFL and this Sunday brings the Cincinnati Bengals to Heinz Field to play the Pittsburgh Steelers for top billing in the AFC North. Both teams are tied for first place, with the winner walking out with sole possession of first place and in control of the division.
After getting out to a 13-0 lead, Pittsburgh is looking to extract revenge on the Bengals for their 23-20 loss in Cincinnati back in week three. The loss gave Pittsburgh a losing record at 1-2, before putting a streak of wins together winning five games in a row.
During the last meeting, Carson Palmer had an average day, throwing for just 183 yards on 20 completions and one touchdown. The touchdown came in the last 14 seconds of the game to Andre Caldwell, finishing off a 16 play drive that saw the Bengals march 71 yards down the field on the Steelers’ defense. Cincinnati’s previous drive was even longer as they moved 85 yards and was capped off with a 23 yard Cedric Benson rushing touchdown.
Benson had 76 yards on only 16 carries, but averaged a staggering 4.8 yards per carry. Despite the lack of carries, Benson was clutch when he needed to be, scoring the touchdown that put the Bengals back in game.
The Bengals are going to be without wide receiver Chris Henry for the rest of the year as Henry had surgery on his broken arm. With or without Henry, the Bengals passing game is extremely dangerous with Caldwell, Laveranues Coles, and of course Chad Ochocinco.
Even though Cincinnati is in a tie for first place, this game is important, not only for the division, but this is their opportunity to prove to their critics that they are a legit contender in the AFC.
The Steelers are hoping they can continue the success coming off of the victory on five wins in a row, and of course winning on Monday night.
The Steelers’ defense is looking to have a better performance this time around, especially since safety Troy Polamalu missed their last meeting with an injury he suffered in week one against the Titans. The Steelers will have safety Ryan Clark back in the lineup as well.
Also looking to rebound and have a better performance is Ben Roethlisberger. Roethlisberger had 276 passing yards on 22 completions, one touchdown, and one interception. Later, Roethlisberger would ad a rushing touchdown too. The Steelers scored on their opening three drives, two field goals with a touchdown in between.
Arguably, the play of the game was Roethlisberger’s interception for a touchdown by Bengals’ corner back Johnathan Joseph on what appeared to be a miscommunication between Santonio Holmes and Roethlisberger. Up until that loss, Roethlisberger was undefeated against Ohio teams when playing in the state of Ohio.
The game will come down to which team can stop the other team’s running game. Benson is quickly proving to the rest of the NFL that he was worth the number 4 pick over all when he was drafted by the Chicago Bears. Rashard Mendenhall was not the starter for the week three match up and is looking to be more of a factor since he has surpassed Willie Parker for the starting job.
In the first match up, Mike Wallace broke out for seven catches and 102 yards. Look for Pittsburgh to key on Wallace and the mismatches he creates because of his speed down the field.
Final score, 24-17 – Steelers walk out victorious and take the lead in the division.
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