When the Cincinnati Bengals invade Heinz Field on Sunday in a must-win game for both teams, they won’t just be battling the black-and-gold; they will be taking on history as well.
Make no mistake about it, this is the beginning of the playoffs for both teams as it is win or go home.
With that being said, no matter how bad the Steelers are playing right now, you have to like their chances.
Sure the Steelers are reeling having dropped four of five and the Bengals are surging having won five of six, but history says the Bengals don’t win these types of games. Until they do, it is hard to take them too seriously.
Can they come into Heinz Field and leave as a playoff team for the second consecutive season?
Certainly. Marvin Lewis’ team is very talented.
But consider the fact that if they do so it would be only the second time in franchise history they would have made the postseason in back-to-back years.
I like where this Bengals team is heading, but this has always been the type of game that the Steelers win and the Bengals are notorious for losing.
Also keep in mind that Cincinnati has dropped their last nine games against the Steelers and Baltimore Ravens combined.
Again, history says that they just don’t win these types of games.
If there was a time for the Bengals to come into Pittsburgh and leave with a big win, this is it. They have been outstanding stopping the run the past month. Their defense is making plays while the Steelers’ defense is not. They have forced 26 turnovers on the season while the Steelers have forced only 13. That plays into the Bengals hands, especially since the Steelers’ offense has coughed it up 18 times during the past five weeks.
All the numbers in the world you examine say the Bengals should win this game, except it is something they never do.
So this Sunday I am throwing numbers out the window and going with history.
It’s just that type of game the Steelers usually win and the Bengals fall flat on their face.
Unless they can come into Heinz Field and make franchise history, it is still hard to give the Bengals the benefit of the doubt.
Unfortunately I have seen this story so many times before and it unfolds the same way every time.