The Cincinnati Bengals will look for a rare sweep of the Pittsburgh Steelers this week when the two rivals face off in Paul Brown Stadium.
Not since the 2009 season have the Bengals swept the Steelers, but they'll have that chance thanks to a Week 8 win in Pittsburgh. It was the typical ugly, four-quarter brawl that saw Cincinnati win thanks to Andy Dalton's nine-yard touchdown strike to A.J. Green with 2:57 left to give the Bengals their first lead of the game en route to a 16-10 win.
That's still the fewest points the Steelers have scored this season and the fewest they've scored at home since Week 1 of the 2013 season. Since the two teams first met, Pittsburgh's offense has erupted into one of the NFL's best units, scoring 35.8 points per game from Weeks 9-13.
Their most recent win was a 45-10 whipping of the Indianapolis Colts, a game that saw Ben Roethlisberger throw for 364 yards and four touchdowns. He's averaging 383.3 passing yards per game since that Week 8 loss to the Bengals while also throwing for 10 scores over that span. The Steelers have scored 30 points or more in four consecutive games for the first time in a single season in team history. They've recorded 450 total yards in four consecutive games in a single season, tying an NFL record for most consecutive 450-yard games in a single-season
One player who has helped spur this offensive surge is second-year receiver Martavis Bryant. He was limited to just four grabs for 49 yards in that Week 8 loss, but has 361 yards receiving on 15 receptions and three total touchdowns (2 receiving, 1 rushing) over his last three games. During last year's 42-21 win in Cincinnati, Bryant caught four passes for 109 yards and a touchdown, which came on a 94-yard scoring pass from Roethlisberger.
As good as Bryant has been, it's Antonio Brown who continues to remind everyone he's the best receiver in football. During last week's win, Brown recorded 118 yards and two scores on eight catches to go with a 71-yard punt return for a touchdown. He became the first player in Steelers history to have two touchdown catches and a punt return for a touchdown in the same game.
But, the Bengals offense and Andy Dalton are no slouches either. Dalton is now up to 28 touchdowns this season (25 passing, 3 rushing) while the Bengals are scoring 27.8 points per game, almost two full points more than the Steelers' 25.9 per contest. Last week, Dalton joined future hall-of-famer Peyton Manning as the only players in NFL history to pass for at least 3,000 yards in each of their first five seasons. Dalton passed for 220 yards and two scores and notched a career-high 146.8 passer rating in the Bengal's 37-3 shellacking of the Cleveland Browns.
While the first meeting between these two teams was a defensive struggle, this week's matchup has all the makings of an offensive shootout. Here is everything you'll need for the game:
When: Sunday, Dec. 13, 1 p.m. EST
Where: Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, Ohio
TV Broadcast: CBS (1:00 PM ET): Greg Gumbel, Trent Green, Jamie Erdahl (field reporter)
Radio Broadcast: Coverage on the Bengals Radio Network, led by a "triple cast" on Cincinnati flagship stations WLW-AM (700), WCKY-AM (ESPN 1530; all sports) and WEBN-FM (102.7). Broadcasters are Dan Hoard (play-by-play) and Dave Lapham (analyst). SIRIUS: 127 (Pit), 82 (Cin). XM: 227 (Cin).
Weather: 62 degrees and rain showers [Weather Underground]
Odds: Bengals opened as 3-point favorites, but the line is 2.5 as of now, per Odds Shark.
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