Bengals Schedule Analysis Part III: When AFC North Collisions Take Place

PITTSBURGH - DECEMBER 12: Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers is sacked by Pat Sims #90 of the Cincinnati Bengals during the game on December 12 2010 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

The third quarter of the Bengals 2011 NFL Schedule is all about the AFC North. Two games against the Steelers with meetings against the Baltimore Ravens and the Cleveland Browns. As fans we pump ourselves up with a predicted winning record by this point in the season, critical division games that could determine a playoff seed and the division championship.

But predicting these things are tough. We try not to, and that's why we're focusing on the historical meetings of these teams. That being said, this would be the point in the season that the Bengals could rise or fall -- depending of course if they've positioned themselves by this point in the season.

WEEK 10 (November 13) - STEELERS AT BENGALS

Before beating the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2009 at Paul Brown Stadium, the Bengals haven't recorded a win against one of their hated division rivals since 2001. A laymen's recap goes like this: The Bengals have won one game in the previous ten meetings in Cincinnati, including the 2005 Wild Card game. It's madness. Madness.

The Steelers have swept the season-series against the Bengals in three of the past four seasons, with the Bengals completing their own sweep during the team's 2009 playoff run.

The Bengals are 32-49 all-time against the Steelers.

WEEK 11 (November 20) - BENGALS AT RAVENS

Of the better AFC teams in the past decade, the Bengals have held their own against the Baltimore Ravens, compiling a 10-6 record during the Marvin Lewis era.

In games played in Baltimore, the Bengals are 4-4 having last beaten the Ravens in Baltimore during the team's 2009 playoff season.

WEEK 12 (November 27) - CLEVELAND AT BENGALS

The Bengals 11-5 record against the Cleveland Browns during the Marvin Lewis era is the franchise's best record against a division opponent.

And when the Bengals host the Browns on November 27, know that Cincinnati holds a 6-2 home record against the Browns dating back to 2003.

WEEK 13 (December 4) - BENGALS AT STEELERS

It wouldn't be points scored against your fandom if you admitted that the Pittsburgh Steelers simply own the Cincinnati Bengals. I know. It sounds greasy, like a bad musical with an out-of-tune guitar and a broadway showman acting all sorts of funny. I don't go to many musicals. But I'm convinced that happens.

As we pointed out in the week ten meeting between both teams, the Bengals are 1-9 in their previous ten games in Cincinnati against the Steelers.

Fortunes do reverse themselves somewhat when the game's location is swapped. When the teams play in Pittsburgh, the Bengals vastly improve with four wins over the previous ten games. It's an ultimate laugh. Make Steelers fans pay money for their tickets and personally witness a beatdown from the Bengals -- almost as enjoyable as the Buckeyes slaughtering the Wolverines in Ann Arbor.

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