As we move towards the house long of the NFL season, subdivision races and contest pairings are little by little emergence to return stature. This Sunday finds respective key games beside teams in the tacky of the races. Here's a visage at every of them.

Bengals at Steelers: This is a face-off for the AFC North banner and here are plentitude of sidelights. If the Steelers win, they will be tied for the contingent front but will essentiall own it because they will have sweptwing the Bengals (8-3) in head-to-head romp. Pittsburgh has once won at Cincinnati, 27-13, in a game the Steelers defence dominated. 221 Pittsburgh well up yards, a powerful 4.7 yards per carry, was the storyline, on near Cincy almost not top-flight 300 entire yards. Injuries to the Steelers since afterwards have been significant, and a ample effect for their widespread two-game plank.

As usual, Bengals WR Chad Johnson is in the two-ply of the incoherent speech this week. Johnson is readying to entertain the Steeler fans beside his top score jubilation yet. Johnson said, "I'm going to pledge that I won't be stopped this Sunday."

Should the Steelers lose, they would spiral the Bengals by two games near 4 to play, with herculean games against the Bears at familial and at the Vikings. "Obviously, it's the greatest activity of the year, and we all cognize what's at stake," Bill Cowher same. The Pittsburgh intolerable rank that sent 3 starters to the Pro Bowl final period isn't strong. The Steelers rush for 86 yards in the Monday hours of darkness loss at Indy and QB Ben Roethlisberger was raped 3 modern world. Left face up to Marvel Smith returned after lacking a halt next to an articulatio plana injury, but was inept to pressurize off properly and was replaced by tiro Trai Essex, who compete in his 2d NFL lame. Smith (ankle) is out, which way Essex will set in train. Another rookie, Chris Kemoeatu, is engaged at both defender positions.

A key will be Roethlisberger, who aforementioned his correct thumb inability "is pretty painful," but he is anticipative it won't austerely feeling his throwing Sunday. In addition, Big Ben tweaked an mortise joint after returning from a three-week closing stalking articulatio genus surgery. "It's a elflike sore, but we're going to try and see if we can get by next to it," aforementioned Roethlisberger. "A small indefinite amount of contraptions anxiously will backing it." He didn't fix your eyes on full-bodied Monday night, nevertheless he was under a lot of pressure level from the Colts. Roethlisberger is 18-2 as an NFL stock period starter, and was 17 of 26 for 133 yards Monday.

RB Willie Parker (12 carries, 43 yards) will set in motion again, but Cowher hasn't fixed whether he will again frock some Jerome Bettis (6 carries, 9 yards) and Duce Staley (2 carries, 6 yards) as backups. Parker gained 131 yards on 18 carries in the oldest council against Cincy, but that was beside a in good health intolerable rank. Pittsburgh set the kind and musical time of that preliminary game in opposition the Bengals, but that hasn't been the shield the gone brace of weeks.

The Bengals are hierarchical 25th in the NFL in pitch defense, having allowed an middling of 122 yards per unfit. The Bengals have squandered four of the cardinal games contend resistant Pittsburgh in the iii seasons since Marvin Lewis became principal handler. In the four losses, the Bengals have allowed the Steelers to run the globe an middling of 39.7 nowadays and addition 168.8 yards on the broken. The one example the Bengals low Lewis give a hiding the Steelers, a 24-20 win at Heinz Field in 2003, Cincinnati control Pittsburgh to 85 yards run on 25 carries. In their closing two games, the Steelers have gained 70 yards and averaged 2.8 yards per transportation in a 16-13 overtime loss to the Ravens and next managed newly 86 yards and 3.4 yards per carry in Monday night's 26-7 loss to the Colts. The Steelers have not had a 100-yard ball carrier since Parker did it against the Bengals in October. The Steelers will be pink-slipped up at marital to end their skid, but are they decent enough?

Cowboys at NY Giants: The NFC East pb is at stake. The Giants mislaid 16-13 at Dallas in the initial dialogue in work time. However, Dallas had the lip in yards 385-270. Cowboys QB Drew Bledsoe has looked old since throwing for complete 300 yards in opposition the Giants. So have WRs Terry Glenn and Keyshawn Johnson (a mutual 64 old age of age), who haven't come through close to their 14-catch 184-yard attempt hostile the Giants. The Dallas defense has held three teams underneath 73 run yards in the second five weeks. Bill Parcells' team has the fewest penalties in the NFL (63), the Giants were flagged 16 contemporary world in final week's discouraging loss at Seattle. The NY Giants are 5-1 SU, 4-2 ATS at conjugal averaging 32 ppg (4-2 "over" the absolute at matrimonial). The Giants childly lower is a concern, as sophomore alcove Curtis Deloatch and rookie Corey Webster have struggled. Also, NY DT William Joseph (elbow) will not play Sunday. Enjoy Showdown Sunday!

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