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NFL Week 15 Primer: Cincinnati Bengals (2-10-1) vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (11-2)

Everything you need to know for when the Bengals host the Steelers on Monday Night Football.

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NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

The Bengals will be hosting the Steelers in Cincinnati for all the country to see on Monday Night Football. This matchup would have been worthy of prime time television if Joe Burrow hadn’t been knocked out for the season, but we deal with the hand we are dealt as fans.

It is hard to ignore how much of a mismatch this game is on paper. Pittsburgh may be riding a two-game losing streak coming into this game, but is Brandon Allen going up against a fierce pass rush going to be able to compete with Ben Roethlisberger having all day to throw to his young wide receivers?

The Bengals will be playing with their backs up against the wall this week. It is safe to say no one is going to be picking them to win, but Cincinnati has made a habit of stealing a divisional win late in the season the past few years.

Even then, this game has to include so many bounces going the Bengals way, which is something this team has rarely had happen this year.

Everything you need to know for when the Bengals take on the Steelers:

Game: Cincinnati Bengals (2-10-1) vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (11-2)

Date/Time: Dec. 21st, 2020 at 8:15 p.m. EST

Location: Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio

Series Leader: The Steeler lead the series 65-35

Streak: The Steelers have won the past 10 meetings

Coaches vs. Opponent: Zac Taylor: (0-3). Mike Tomlin (22-5)

Television: ESPN broadcast with Steve Levy (play-by-play), Brian Griese (analyst), Louis Riddick (analyst) and Lisa Salters (sideline analyst). In the Cincinnati market, the ESPN broadcast also will be simulcast on WLWT-TV (Channel 5).

Online Stream: Use a free trial of fuboTV to watch the game.

Radio Broadcast: The game will air on the Bengals Radio Network, led by 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).

SB Nation the Steelers’ site: Behind the Steel Curtain

Weather: Mid 40’s, clear skies [NFL weather]

Odds: Bengals open, +11.5 [Odds Shark]

Bengals notes

  • Quarterback Brandon Allen completed 27 of 36 passes (career-high 75 percent) for a season-high 217 yards with a touchdown and no interceptions for a season-high 99 passer rating last week. He aims for his fourth game in a row with a touchdown pass.
  • Running back Giovani Bernard has at least 65 yards from scrimmage in two of his past three games at home against the Steelers. He has 536 scrimmage yards this season (275 receiving ad 261 rushing) and is one of two running backs Frank Gore with at least 400 yards from scrimmage in each of their past eight seasons. Running back Trayveon Williams had a career-high 63 total yards (49 rushing and 14 receiving) last week. Running back Samaje Perine had a season-high 55 total yards (48 rushing and 7 receiving) in the Week 10 meeting with Pittsburgh.
  • Wide receiver Tyler Boyd had five catches for 43 yards last week. He had six catches for 41 yards in the Week 10 meeting. He had five catches for 101 yards and a touchdown in the last home meeting against the Steelers. He has at least five catches in four of his past five games at home. Wide receiver A.J. Green had six catches for 62 yards and a touchdown in Week 14. Rookie wide receiver Tee Higgins aims for his fourth game in a row with at least five catches. He had seven catches for 115 yards and a touchdown in the Week 10 meeting. Higgins ranks second among rookies with 778 receiving yards.
  • Safety Jessie Bates had a pass defense last week. He had seven tackles, two passes defended and a tackle for a loss in the Week 10 meeting against the Steelers. Safety Vonn Bell aims for his fifth game in a row with at least five tackles. He has a fumble recovery in two of his past three games. He had two passes defended in the Week 10 meeting. Linebacker Josh Bynes led the team with seven tackles and had a tackle for a loss last week. Defensive lineman Margus Hunt had a season-high two tackles for a loss and his first sack of 2020 in Week 14.

Steelers notes

  • The Steelers clinched a postseason berth for the first time since 2017
  • Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger passed for 187 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions last week. He aims for his third game in a row with at least two touchdown passes. He set season highs in passing yards (333) and touchdown passes (four) in the Week 10 meeting against the Bengals.
  • Running back Benny Snell rushed for 98 yards in the last road meeting with Cincinnati. He aims for his third game in a row on the road against the division with at least 90 rushing yards.
  • Wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster had six catches for 55 yards and a touchdown last week. He aims for his fourth game in a row with at least six catches. He had nine catches for 77 yards and a touchdown in the Week 10 meeting. Smith-Schuster has a touchdown catch in two of his past three games against the Bengals. Wide receiver Diontae Johnson has eight catches in three of his past four games. He had six catches for career-high 116 yards and a touchdown in the Week 10 meeting with Cincinnati. He has 75 receiving yards and a touchdown catch in two of three career games against the Bengals. Rookie wide receiver Chase Claypool had two receiving touchdowns in the Week 10 meeting. He leads rookies with eight receiving touchdowns. Wide receiver James Washington aims for his third game in a row with a receiving touchdown. He had 98 receiving yards and a touchdown catch in the last road meeting.
  • Linebacker T.J. Watt had a pass defense last week. He has a sack in two of the past three games. He had two sacks in the Week 10 meeting. Watt aims for his fifth game in a row against the Bengals with a sack. He ranks second in the NFL with 12 sacks. Cornerback Mike Hilton had five tackles, an interception and his first forced fumble of the season last week. He aims for his third game in a row with a pass defense and a tackle for a loss. Safety Minkah Fitzpatrick has a pass defense in three of the past four weeks. He has a interception in two of his past three games on the road. Defensive end Tyson Alualu had a sack and forced fumble last week.

Bengals history against Steelers

Date Visitor Home Result
Date Visitor Home Result
11/15/2020 Cincinnati Bengals Pittsburgh Steelers L
11/24/2019 Pittsburgh Steelers Cincinnati Bengals L
09/30/2019 Cincinnati Bengals Pittsburgh Steelers L
12/30/2018 Cincinnati Bengals Pittsburgh Steelers L
10/14/2018 Pittsburgh Steelers Cincinnati Bengals L
12/04/2017 Pittsburgh Steelers Cincinnati Bengals L
10/22/2017 Cincinnati Bengals Pittsburgh Steelers L
12/18/2016 Pittsburgh Steelers Cincinnati Bengals L
09/18/2016 Cincinnati Bengals Pittsburgh Steelers L
01/09/2016 * Pittsburgh Steelers Cincinnati Bengals L
12/13/2015 Pittsburgh Steelers Cincinnati Bengals L
11/01/2015 Cincinnati Bengals Pittsburgh Steelers W
12/28/2014 Cincinnati Bengals Pittsburgh Steelers L
12/07/2014 Pittsburgh Steelers Cincinnati Bengals L
12/15/2013 Cincinnati Bengals Pittsburgh Steelers L
09/16/2013 Pittsburgh Steelers Cincinnati Bengals W
12/23/2012 Cincinnati Bengals Pittsburgh Steelers W
10/21/2012 Pittsburgh Steelers Cincinnati Bengals L
12/04/2011 Cincinnati Bengals Pittsburgh Steelers L
11/13/2011 Pittsburgh Steelers Cincinnati Bengals L
12/12/2010 Cincinnati Bengals Pittsburgh Steelers L
11/08/2010 Pittsburgh Steelers Cincinnati Bengals L
11/15/2009 Cincinnati Bengals Pittsburgh Steelers W
09/27/2009 Pittsburgh Steelers Cincinnati Bengals W
11/20/2008 Cincinnati Bengals Pittsburgh Steelers L
10/19/2008 Pittsburgh Steelers Cincinnati Bengals L
12/02/2007 Cincinnati Bengals Pittsburgh Steelers L
10/28/2007 Pittsburgh Steelers Cincinnati Bengals L
12/31/2006 Pittsburgh Steelers Cincinnati Bengals L/OT
09/24/2006 Cincinnati Bengals Pittsburgh Steelers W
01/08/2006 * Pittsburgh Steelers Cincinnati Bengals L
12/04/2005 Cincinnati Bengals Pittsburgh Steelers W
10/23/2005 Pittsburgh Steelers Cincinnati Bengals L
11/21/2004 Pittsburgh Steelers Cincinnati Bengals L
10/03/2004 Cincinnati Bengals Pittsburgh Steelers L
11/30/2003 Cincinnati Bengals Pittsburgh Steelers W
09/21/2003 Pittsburgh Steelers Cincinnati Bengals L
11/24/2002 Cincinnati Bengals Pittsburgh Steelers L
10/13/2002 Pittsburgh Steelers Cincinnati Bengals L
12/30/2001 Pittsburgh Steelers Cincinnati Bengals W/OT
10/07/2001 Cincinnati Bengals Pittsburgh Steelers L
11/26/2000 Pittsburgh Steelers Cincinnati Bengals L
10/15/2000 Cincinnati Bengals Pittsburgh Steelers L
11/28/1999 Cincinnati Bengals Pittsburgh Steelers W
10/17/1999 Pittsburgh Steelers Cincinnati Bengals L
12/20/1998 Cincinnati Bengals Pittsburgh Steelers W
10/11/1998 Pittsburgh Steelers Cincinnati Bengals W
11/16/1997 Cincinnati Bengals Pittsburgh Steelers L
10/19/1997 Pittsburgh Steelers Cincinnati Bengals L
11/10/1996 Pittsburgh Steelers Cincinnati Bengals W
10/13/1996 Cincinnati Bengals Pittsburgh Steelers L
11/19/1995 Pittsburgh Steelers Cincinnati Bengals L
10/19/1995 Cincinnati Bengals Pittsburgh Steelers W
12/04/1994 Pittsburgh Steelers Cincinnati Bengals L
10/16/1994 Cincinnati Bengals Pittsburgh Steelers L
11/07/1993 Pittsburgh Steelers Cincinnati Bengals L
09/19/1993 Cincinnati Bengals Pittsburgh Steelers L
11/29/1992 Pittsburgh Steelers Cincinnati Bengals L
10/19/1992 Cincinnati Bengals Pittsburgh Steelers L
12/15/1991 Cincinnati Bengals Pittsburgh Steelers L
11/10/1991 Pittsburgh Steelers Cincinnati Bengals L/OT
12/02/1990 Cincinnati Bengals Pittsburgh Steelers W
11/18/1990 Pittsburgh Steelers Cincinnati Bengals W
10/08/1989 Cincinnati Bengals Pittsburgh Steelers W
09/17/1989 Pittsburgh Steelers Cincinnati Bengals W
11/06/1988 Pittsburgh Steelers Cincinnati Bengals W
09/18/1988 Cincinnati Bengals Pittsburgh Steelers W
11/22/1987 Pittsburgh Steelers Cincinnati Bengals L
10/25/1987 Cincinnati Bengals Pittsburgh Steelers L
10/26/1986 Cincinnati Bengals Pittsburgh Steelers L
10/13/1986 Pittsburgh Steelers Cincinnati Bengals W
10/27/1985 Pittsburgh Steelers Cincinnati Bengals W
09/30/1985 Cincinnati Bengals Pittsburgh Steelers W
11/11/1984 Pittsburgh Steelers Cincinnati Bengals W
10/01/1984 Cincinnati Bengals Pittsburgh Steelers L
12/04/1983 Cincinnati Bengals Pittsburgh Steelers W
10/10/1983 Pittsburgh Steelers Cincinnati Bengals L
09/19/1982 Cincinnati Bengals Pittsburgh Steelers L/OT
12/13/1981 Cincinnati Bengals Pittsburgh Steelers W
10/18/1981 Pittsburgh Steelers Cincinnati Bengals W
10/12/1980 Cincinnati Bengals Pittsburgh Steelers W
09/21/1980 Pittsburgh Steelers Cincinnati Bengals W
12/02/1979 Cincinnati Bengals Pittsburgh Steelers L
10/14/1979 Pittsburgh Steelers Cincinnati Bengals W
11/19/1978 Cincinnati Bengals Pittsburgh Steelers L
09/17/1978 Pittsburgh Steelers Cincinnati Bengals L
12/10/1977 Pittsburgh Steelers Cincinnati Bengals W
10/17/1977 Cincinnati Bengals Pittsburgh Steelers L
11/28/1976 Pittsburgh Steelers Cincinnati Bengals L
10/17/1976 Cincinnati Bengals Pittsburgh Steelers L
12/13/1975 Cincinnati Bengals Pittsburgh Steelers L
11/02/1975 Pittsburgh Steelers Cincinnati Bengals L
12/14/1974 Cincinnati Bengals Pittsburgh Steelers L
11/10/1974 Pittsburgh Steelers Cincinnati Bengals W
10/28/1973 Cincinnati Bengals Pittsburgh Steelers L
10/14/1973 Pittsburgh Steelers Cincinnati Bengals W
11/05/1972 Cincinnati Bengals Pittsburgh Steelers L
09/24/1972 Pittsburgh Steelers Cincinnati Bengals W
12/12/1971 Pittsburgh Steelers Cincinnati Bengals L
09/26/1971 Cincinnati Bengals Pittsburgh Steelers L
11/22/1970 Pittsburgh Steelers Cincinnati Bengals W
11/02/1970 Cincinnati Bengals Pittsburgh Steelers L