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Old 12-11-2010, 11:59 PM   #1
A Son of Martha

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Default Who I like, Cincinnati II

NFL from the sidelines
After hobnobbing around the NFL in the press boxes and sidelines, sports reporter Dale Lolley will let you know the insider scoop. Dale can also be heard on Tuesday nights throughout the season from 7 to 9 p.m. on WBGG 970-AM.

Who I like, Cincinnati II

Coming off of an emotional, hard-fought win over hated division rival Baltimore last week, the Steelers face the challenge of not giving up the one-game lead in the AFC North they worked so hard to acquire.

That’s why it’s almost perfect that the Steelers face another division rival at home this week in the Cincinnati Bengals.

If there was any doubt about why the Steelers wouldn’t have a letdown against Cincinnati, the Bengals’ PR department trotted out reason No. 1 in its weekly press release. The Bengals have won two of the past three meetings between the two teams thanks to a sweep of the Steelers in 2009.

The Steelers don’t have to look too far into their past to realize how dangerous the Bengals are, despite their 2-10 record.

They also have the previous meeting between the two teams from which to call upon.

Yes, the Steelers jumped out to a 27-7 lead in that game. But the Bengals scored a pair of fourth quarter touchdowns and were inside the Pittsburgh 20 before being stopped on fourth down late in the game to end their hopes of a comeback.

The difference was that the Bengals opened things up in the fourth quarter after trying to establish running back Cedric Benson early.

Against Pittsburgh’s defense, which leads the league in fewest rushing yards allowed, that’s a losing proposition.

The Bengals likely learned their lesson in that game and will try to spread the Steelers out from the start when the two teams meet today at Heinz Field.

But that only works if you have a quarterback who isn’t prone to mistakes. Cincinnati’s Carson Palmer, who has 15 interceptions and five fumbles, is not one of those quarterbacks.

Take Pittsburgh to win, 28-13

© This from the Associated Press: The NFL has suspended New England Patriots linebacker Brandon Spikes four games without pay for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.

Spikes, the team’s second leading tackler, will miss the rest of the regular season, starting Sunday at the Chicago Bears. The rookie drafted in the second round from Florida will be eligible to rejoin the active roster after the finale at home against Miami, and would be eligible for the playoffs.

Spikes said in a statement issued by the Patriots that the substance “was a medication that I should have gotten clarification on before taking. It was not a performance enhancer or an illegal drug.”
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