Steelers @ Bengals

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Benjamin
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Steelers @ Bengals

Post by Benjamin » Sun Jan 08, 2006 7:23 am

If you're a football fan, then you'll know that this probably will be the best game out of all this weekend.

My money is on the Steelers for several reasons.

1) Bengals Defense has sprung a serious leak.  In the latter half of the season, the Bengals have been
engaged in shootouts every game.  Statistically, the Bengals are 21st in points allowed, a stat that would have been considerably worse if it wasn't for the low scoring games at the beginning of the season.  Not only that, but against the run they are ranked 19th.  Compare that to the Pitts' D, who are 5th and 4th in those categories respectively.

2) Roethlisberger.  In their last game, Ben was hurt with a hand injury, not so this time.  While Cincinnati's secondary has a better-than-average with such players at Deltha O'Neal (Pro Bowler) and Kevin Kaesviharn.  Their front 4 is nothing to write home about.  Consistently they haven't been able to get pressure on the QB, and made even ordinary QB's like Charlie Frye look like Tom Brady.  Bengals' Defensive Tackles Bryan Robinson and John Thornton need to step up their game and get up in Roethlisberger's face. 

3) Inexperience.  Simply put, the Bengals have none, and the Steelers have plenty.  Normally, people don't put too much stock in experience, but I disagree.  Experience in the playoffs give you that extra mental toughness and readyness.  Since this is a 1 game elimination, the stakes are high and players either cope well or fold under such pressure.  I feel that some of the Bengals are playing a bit .. flat.  Mainly because the Bengals were never supposed to make it this far.  While the Steelers are thinking about revenge, and getting back to the AFC Championship, the Bengals seem to be content with just the AFC North crown.  However, I like Marv Lewis.  If there's anyone that can give them the focus they desperately need, it's Coach Lewis.

I still think the Bengals are a year away from being a major contendor.  But suffice it to say, the AFC just became a lot more interesting to watch.  That's a win-win situation for everyone.

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