The Pittsburgh Steelers (10-5) beat the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 16. The Steelers defensively smothered the Chiefs all game. Running-back Jamaal Charles was held to only 29 yards rushing on the day. Pittsburgh running-back La’Veon Bell ran for 63 yards on 20 carries. It was no Pittsburg’s best offensive performance, but they did enough to pull off the victory.
The Cincinnati Bengals (10-4-1) won in prime time against the heavily favored Denver Broncos. The Bengals have struggled in prime time games ever since Dalton arrived. The Cincinnati defense smothered the Manning lead assault. The Bengals picked off Manning four times on their way to an upset victory.
Steelers Vs Bengals Week 17 Odds
Here are the odds from Betonline.ag
Bengals +3.5 (-115)
Steelers -3.5 (-105)
Steelers: Ben Roethlisberger is having a great season. He has thrown for 30 touchdowns and only eight interceptions. His completion percentage is at 67.4, which is nearly four points higher than his career average. With so many quality quarterbacks in the league this season, it is easy to overlook Roethlisberger’s season. The Steelers will need Roethlisberger to continue playing at an elite level with emergence of Cincinnati’s defense. The offensive burden will not fall entirely on Big Ben. La’Veon Bell, as the premier tail-back has aided Roethlisberger and brought balance to the Steelers’ offense. Bell has 1,341 yards on the season and eight touchdowns runs. Outside of DeMarco Murray in Dallas, Bell is the best back in the league.
Bengals: The Cincinnati defense, against one of the greatest quarterbacks in the history of the game, came out in prime time and delivered a message to the rest of the league. The Bengals are not afraid of the bright lights of prime time anymore. With the last game of the regular season being a Sunday Night prime time game, that message could not have come at a better time. Andy Dalton, after a shaky start, settled down to throw for two touchdowns on the night. The old Andy Dalton would have folded after the early pick six by the Denver defense, but his defense bailed him out by stuffing the Denver offense. The pressure is off Dalton, for now, and that is in large part due to rookie running-back Jeremy Hill. Against the Broncos, Hill rushed for 147 yards on 22 carries. Hill and the defense will make the Bengals a dark horse contender going into the playoffs.
The winner of this Sunday Night matchup will win the NFC North and have a home playoff game, while the loser will get a wild card birth and have to play on the road throughout the playoffs. Before last week, the Steelers were the easy favorite in this game. With the Bengals’ secondary finally playing well, this game gets a lot more interesting. The Steelers play extremely well at home, but they are not perfect. Their two losses at home were at the hands of two NFC south opponents. This is a matchup of two premier running-backs, and whichever defense can contain the run will have the advantage. The Steeler’s run defense is better than their pass-defense and that could spell disaster for the Bengals. They will need to find a way to take the pressure from Andy Dalton by running the football. The Steelers will have a much easier time running the football than the Bengals. If the Bengals cannot force the Steelers to throw, then the Bengals will not have a shot in this game. The biggest difference maker in this game is Jeremy Hill. In their last meeting, Hill carried the ball eight times for a total of 46 yards. The Bengals need to commit to running the ball and allow Hill to find a rhythm against the Steelers’ defensive front. Expect the Bengals to find a way this week and pull off the upset.
Cincinnati Bengals 43 Pittsburgh Steelers 28