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It’s already a must-win game on Monday night for the Steelers and Bengals as one of these two teams will 0-2 afterward. Pittsburgh looked terrible in its opening home loss to Tennessee and also lost Pro Bowl center Maurkice Pouncey and starting linebacker Larry Foote to season-ending injuries. Ben Roethlisberger connected on 21-of-33 passes for 191 yards, one touchdown and an interception for the Steelers in their 16-9 loss to Tennessee. Pittsburgh entered came in with 10 straight victories in home openers, the longest active streak in the league. Pittsburgh was held to 32 yards rushing. The Bengals mostly outplayed Chicago last week but lost 24-21. Cincinnati signal-caller Andy Dalton completed 26-of-33 passes for 282 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions, while A.J. Green grabbed a game-high nine passes for 162 yards and both of Dalton’s touchdowns. BenJarvus Green-Ellis added a rushing score for the Bengals.
The Steelers lead the all-time series 53-33, including 1-0 in postseason. Pittsburgh leads 26-18 as the road team. The Bengals, however, took a key win in the last meeting, Dec. 23 of last season at Heinz Field, when their 13-10 win secured a playoff berth and eliminated the Steelers from postseason contention. The Bengals have played more games against the Steelers (86) than any other foe. Cleveland is second in that category at 79, and Tennessee (formerly Houston Oilers) is third at 73. Roethlisberger has an 86.7 passer rating in 19 career games against the Bengals (including postseason). His won-lost record is 14-5. Roethlisberger has totaled 555 passes against Cincinnati, with 352 completions (63.4 percent) for 4152 yards (218.5 yards per game) with 26 TDs and 20 INTs. Roethlisberger has passed for 300 yards only once against Cincinnati — a 386-yarder on Dec. 4, 2005 at Pittsburgh. But as is often the case with big passing numbers, the Steelers lost, 38-31.
Green was the Bengals’ offensive leader in last year’s playoff-clinching win at Pittsburgh, leading both sides in receptions (10), receiving yards (116) and yards from scrimmage (116). Green’s career totals against Pittsburgh (four games) are 19 catches for 247 yards with three TDs. Green also has one 15-yard rushing gain against Pittsburgh. In four games against Pittsburgh, Dalton is 64-for-123 passing (52.0 percent) for 688 yards, with four TDs and five INTs (rating of 62.7); Dalton’s 278 passing yards in the most recent meeting, last year at Pittsburgh, is his career-best against the Steelers.
WAGERWEB OPENING ODDS: Bengals -7 (40.5) STEELERS NOTES: Have won 10 of past 11 at Cin…Seek 3rd straight win vs. Cin. on MNF…MIKE TOMLIN is 7-1 as head coach on MNF…QB BEN ROETHLISBERGER has 30,035 pass yards, most in club history. For career, Roethlisberger is 13-5 (.722) as starter vs. Bengals. Has 9-3 record on MNF…RB FELIX JONES averages 9.4 yards per carry vs. Cin. (11 att., 103 yards)…WR ANTONIO BROWN has 12 catches for 193 yards (16.1 avg.) with TD in past 2 vs. Bengals. WR EMMANUEL SANDERS tied career-high with 7 rec. last week. WR JERRICHO COTCHERY (395 catches, 4,990 rec. yards) needs 5 rec. to reach 400 career & 10 rec. yards for 5,000 career…LB LAMARR WOODLEY (53) needs 1 sack to surpass GREG LLOYD (53.5) for 5th-most sacks by Steeler since ’82. LB LAWRENCE TIMMONS posted 2 sacks in last game against Bengals…S TROY POLAMALU has 4 career INTs vs. Cin. S RYAN CLARK led team with 13 tackles last week…CB CORTEZ ALLEN had career-high 2 INTs & FF in last game vs. Cin. BENGALS NOTES: Have won 3 of past 4 at home dating back to 2012. Aim for 3rd straight win vs. AFC North…In past 4 at home, QB ANDY DALTON has 9 TDs vs. 1 INT & 104.4 rating…Since ’10, RB BEN JARVUS GREEN-ELLIS has 31 rush TDs, 4th-best in NFL…WR A.J. GREEN ranked 2nd in NFL & 1st in AFC with 162 rec. yards last week. Had 10 catches for 116 yards in last mtg…LB VONTAZE BURFICT recorded 1st INT of career last week & had team-high 8 tackles…DT GENO ATKINS had 3 sacks & FF in last 2 vs. Pit…DE MICHAEL JOHNSON has 4.5 sacks in past 5 games vs. Pit…
LB JAMES HARRISON spent 10 seasons (2002-03, 2005-12) w/ Pit. & was named AP Defensive POY in ’08. Harrison ranks 2nd in club annals w/ 64 career sacks (JASON GILDON, 77). Has 9.5 sacks in past 7 on MNF…CB LEON HALL had 17-yard INT-return TD in last meeting. WAGERWEB TRENDS: Steelers are 13-2-1 ATS in their last 16 meetings in Cincinnati. Favorite is 5-1 ATS in their last 6 meetings. Over is 4-1 in the last 5 meetings in Cincinnati. Under is 4-1 in the last 5 meetings. Steelers are 18-7-1 ATS in their last 26 meetings. Road team is 20-8-1 ATS in their last 29 meetings. – Written by WagerWeb for VegasTopDogs.com