NFL

NFL Week 6 Game Preview: Steelers (2-2-1) at Bengals(4-1)

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If you told most Bengals and Steelers fans that one team in this matchup would be in first place while the other struggled to get out of the basement, few would have expected it would be the Bengals on top.

But after five weeks of NFL action, that is the situation in the AFC North. Cincinnati also faces the Steelers as the favorite for the first time in years after 27 unanswered second-half points gave them a 27-17 win over the Dolphins.

Andy Dalton is enjoying a career year as he continues to thrive under offensive coordinator Bill Lazor. Only Tom Brady and Ben Roethlis berger have thrown more touchdowns than Dalton since Lazor took over last season.

Pittsburgh comes off its best effort of the season, a 41-7 drubbing of the Atlanta Falcons they hope is the beginning of a season-correction. Their rough first quarter had some doubting the Steelers’ sustainability without Le’Veon Bell.

James Conner answered critics by racking up 185 yards and a pair of touchdowns in Week 5. If that wasn’t enough, Roethlisberger went on record as saying Conner deserves “serious” playing time even if Bell returns to the team.

Injuries and roster moves

Running back Giovani Bernard is doubtful for Sunday’s game with a sprained knee. He has not practiced so far this week.

Tight end Tyler Kroft (foot) is questionable after a limited practice, as is wide receiver John Ross (groin).

Several defensive players arelisted as questionable, but none are expected to miss Week 5.

Pittsburgh reported no serious injuries Wednesday.

Coaching matchup

Marvin Lewis is doing a good job justifying the two-year contract extension he received after going 13-19 over the last two seasons and missing the playoffs in consecutive years for the first time since 2008. The long-tenured coach has a lot of new faces around him, though, as he tries to avoid becoming the record-holder for most head coaching seasons without a playoff victory. He is currently tied with Jim E Mora after 15 seasons.

Mike Tomlin is in his twelfth season as head coach of the Steelers. Despite his teams solid victory, he had plenty of angry things to say about officials and the state of the game. He’ll pay $25,000 for those comments, which probably won’t do much to change his opinion. Meanwhile, he seems well on the way to reversing his team’s early malaise.

How to watch the Bengals-Steelers game

CBS Sports will broadcast this early-bracket game to most markets not contractually-obligated to show another NFL contest in the time slot.

For many savvy NFL fans, that will mean watching live stream Steelers-Bengals action on DirecTV Now. DirecTV Now sends the original CBS broadcast directly to your favorite Internet-connected device in real time without distracting advertising or dubbing.

DirecTV Now and other internet TV providers like Sling and Fubo TV offer low monthly subscriptions, and no contract or expensive equipment is required. Check their websites and take advantage of their free trials.

Who will win the Bengals-Steelers game?

Both teams enter Sunday’s contest with some momentum. Pittsburgh needs a win to jump over the .500 mark and stop talk about whether their run of playoff appearances will come to a close this season.

Cincinnati has an opportunity to jump out to a further lead and early tiebreaker advantages with its second division win in two tries. Their fans will be rocking Paul Brown Stadium hoping for the best.

But in the end, the Steelers will do what they always do: find a way to win a game they desperately need.

Final score: Steelers 26, Bengals 23

 

 

About James Rhodes

James is an American born sports writer that covers all sports and has a passion for football at every level He began his journalism career then and has been published on numerous sports websites and publications

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