Wacky State Of The AFC Sets Stage For Crucial Steelers Bengals Game

The Pittsburgh Steelers take their 2-3 record to Cincinnati next Sunday night to face a Bengals team that dropped their third game of the season Sunday to the Cleveland Browns. The loss just so happened to be the Bengals second in the division as they lost to the Baltimore Ravens back in week 1.

While the Steelers have played one less game than the Bengals, the Sunday night tilt has become super important for both teams now. A loss by the Bengals would mean that they can finish no better than .500 in the division, while a loss by the Steelers would be their fourth in six games and leave them at best two games behind the Ravens in the loss column depending on the outcome of their game against the Houston Texans next Sunday afternoon.

According to the site http://makenflplayoffs.com/, the Steelers have a 27.2% chance of making the playoffs after the games on Sunday, while the Bengals have a 35.2% chance. The Steelers open up as 2.5 point favorites on the road and that is a bit surprising considering their injuries, and more importantly, the way that they have played so far this season.

Six weeks in now and the AFC is pretty much a mess. The Texans are no longer undefeated, and depending on what happens Monday night, there could be two divisions led by teams with 3 losses and 9 teams total within the conference with 3 losses.

A win Sunday night by the Steelers over the Bengals, combined with a Ravens loss earlier in the day to the Texans, would leave the black and gold just 1 game back to the Ravens in the loss column and that would be pretty uplifting the way things have gone so far to start the season.

Is it a must-win game Sunday night? Mathematically, no, but the way things are going right now in the AFC, losing divisional games is the last thing a team wants to do right now.

  • alex

    yes, huge week, w D questions, Alameda Qs…time to focus…me thinks a players team meeting is in order by whomever the lockeroom captain is…clark?

  • Kenneth Wilt

    It is hard to believe, but with a win and a winning streak, combined with a loss at Texas, and this team still only head to head victories away from winning the division. Granted this team has some serious soul searching to do. Who do they want to be? Do they want victory bad enough? I’m not sure yet, but any time the defense is the worst part of your team……maybe that tells us something.

  • Ahmad

    This game will be close on Sunday night. It’ll come down to whichever teams wants it more and I hope it’s the Steelers.

  • Tim

    I highly doubt the Bengals will lose because they “just didn’t want it enough”. These are professional players, except for rare cases, games aren’t decided by how hard the players try. That’s Pop Warner football. The winner of the game will be decided on the gameplans put in place by coaches, in game ajustments and execution. Not, “who wants to win more and who tries the hardest”. Can’t stand when people make comments like that.

  • SteelerDave

    Games and situations like this is where Smith and Farrior are most dearly missed, not for their skills but for leadership.

  • SteelSpine

    Opportunity in our division opened with Ravens’ key players hurt. Better coaching gonna be needed for us tho. This is time for Steelers staff to inform our players the Steelers have a great reputation for overcoming injuries to key players. Tho not since last season’s end of reg season, previously the Steelers were famous for annually overcoming losses of players on defense, starting years ago when Woodson & DBs were hurt yet we still won against run&shoot teams, then we’d annually lose OLBs, etc. Tho I think talent & insufficient planning is more the cause of our problems than injuries, gotta raise the standard somehow.

    Plan B is since we really dont have the talent, need Donnie Shell to suit-up at SS 🙂 & maybe Rod Woodson still fast enough now to play FSafety, can Ilkin come down from the booth to play OT.