NFL Week 12 Picks: Bengals @ Steelers

Ryan BrennanSenior Analyst INovember 18, 2008

Cincinnati Bengals @ Pittsburgh Steelers

Thursday, Nov. 20 - 8:15 PM

Both the Bengals and Steelers were involved in notable games Week 11—Cincinnati's game against the Eagles ended in a tie, the first time that has happened in six years, and Pittsburgh defeated San Diego 11-10, the first time an NFL game has ended with that score.


Tying?? There's no tying in football!

If you didn't realize that a regular season NFL game could end in a tie, you are not alone. In his postgame interview, Eagles QB Donovan McNabb stated that he expected to keep on playing sudden death and did not realize the game was over. I guess that would explain the confused looks on both team's faces as the clock expired.

But Week 11's game was the 17th time a tie has occurred in the NFL, and, coincidentally, the last time a game ended in a tie it involved the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Cincinnati stayed alive last week by forcing turnovers, grabbing three interceptions and recovering a forced fumble. The big question for this week is whether they can do the same on Big Ben and his ailing shoulder.

This season, Roethlisberger has already thrown as many interceptions as he did last season (11) and only a fraction of the touchdowns. Despite not throwing for a touchdown last week against the Chargers, he looked very good—throwing for more than 300 yards for only the second time this season and no interceptions.

Bengals QB Ryan Fitzpatrick played his best game of the season last week, throwing for 261 yards, no interceptions, and one touchdown. A large part of his success came from T.J. Houshmandzadeh, who caught 12 passes for 149 yards and one touchdown.

But enough about last week, let's take a look at how both teams have stacked up this year.


Points Per Game
Bengals Offense vs. Steelers Defense - 13.8 (31st) vs. 15.0 (2nd)
Steelers Offense vs. Bengals Defense - 20.9 (24th) vs. 24.9 (24th)

Rush Yards Per Game
Bengals Offense vs. Steelers Defense - 83.7 (30th) vs. 68.9 (1st)
Steelers Offense vs. Bengals Defense - 99.8 (23rd) vs. 131.1 (23rd)

Pass Yards Per Game
Bengals Offense vs. Steelers Defense - 158.9 (30th) vs. 168.7 (1st)
Steelers Offense vs. Bengals Defense - 200.4 (18th) vs. 206.6 (15th)

Total Yards Per Game
Bengals Offense vs. Steelers Defense - 242.6 (32nd) vs. 237.6 (1st)
Steelers Offense vs. Bengals Defense - 300.2 (25th) vs. 337.7 (20th)


The Bengals may have been able to overcome a good Eagles defense and avoid the loss, but they are not going to be able to do it two weeks in a row and against the best defense in the NFL.

Steelers over Bengals.