Must-win territory for Bengals, too
The Cincinnati Bengals must be hoping they don't play two must-win games in a row.
If they don't beat the Steelers on Sunday, their only road to the playoffs is to beat the Baltimore Ravens (9-5) at home on Dec. 30 and hope the Steelers (7-7) lose to the Cleveland Browns (5-9).
The problem: The Bengals have dropped their past nine to the Steelers (five straight) and Ravens (four in a row).
“We do this in order to win championships,” coach Marvin Lewis said. “In order to win championships, you've got to go through the teams who have been the best on our side, and that's Pittsburgh, number one, and Baltimore.”
The last time the Bengals won their final two games of a season? It was 2008, when they won their final three, yet still finished 4-11-1. The Bengals are 10-5 on the road the past two seasons. They've won four times at Heinz Field, in 2003, '05, '06 and '09.
End of the road?
The Steelers could retain potential free agent Mike Wallace by designating him as their franchise player in 2013, but that could cost $8 million-$10 million. That's a steep price for a team that gave receiver Antonio Brown a $42.5 million deal last summer.
With Wallace's market value likely more than the Steelers can afford, he might be finishing his four-season career in Pittsburgh.
“I definitely know it's a possibility. Everybody knows,” Wallace said. “But this is still my team, I'm still with my teammates, and I love being around here. Honestly I really haven't thought about anything but winning these two ballgames.”
Pay no mind
Wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery on Ben Roethlisberger's apology for criticizing the play-calling in Dallas: “We weren't even paying attention to it, but he still apologized.”
Alan Robinson is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers’ defense on pace for fewest sacks in 16-game season
- Steelers notebook: No-huddle gets limited use vs. Texans
- Nearing season’s midpoint, Steelers still have issues to sort out
- Steelers’ Pouncey, brother won’t be charged in July fracas
- Starkey: Century mark beckons for Ben
- Steelers dial up 2-point play for Brown’s TD toss
- Snapshot in time: Comparing Cowher, Tomlin drafts
- Steelers film session: Watt kept under control
- Steelers’ defense rebounds after shaky 1st quarter, forces Texans into mistakes
- Rookie Bryant sparks deep passing game for Steelers in victory
- Steelers lookahead: Colts QB Luck becoming one of NFL’s elite