While the Cincinnati Bengals are gearing up for their second game against the Cleveland Browns and their new starting quarterback, Austin Davis this coming Sunday, many eyes are looking ahead to December 13. That date marks the return of the Pittsburgh Steelers to Paul Brown Stadium in Week 14.
On Wednesday, the Bengals announced that Week 14's Bengals vs Steelers game is indeed a sellout, just their second sold out game in 2015. If the Bengals win the matchup, they will have the AFC North sealed up and officially theirs with three games left to play.
While the NFL removed the Blackout rule to the delight of fans this offseason, meaning every game is televised no matter how many tickets are sold, it's still a bit of a shock that the home game against Cleveland for Thursday Night Football was the only other sellout for a team currently sitting at 9-2.
The home games against Seattle, St. Louis and the Monday night's game against Houston, came close to selling out as each had more than 60,000 tickets sold, but none hit that coveted sellout mark. The only remaining regular season home game at PBS for 2015 aside from Pittsburgh is their ushering in of the struggling Baltimore Ravens in Week 17.
Given the rabid nature of Steelers fans, the recent uptick in the Pittsburgh/Cincinnati rivalry and the fact that the Steelers are still in the playoff hunt, it shouldn't be a surprise Week 14 is a sellout. In fact, this game always seemed to be one Cincinnati could count on getting sold out with the close proximity of Black and Gold faithful making the trek.
Since the Marvin Lewis era began in 2003, the Bengals have just two home wins against the Steelers. Their five other wins against Pittsburgh in that span were as visitors.
Tickets are still available for the regular season finale against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 17.