The Pittsburgh vs. Cincinnati Monday night football game might be interesting for more than one reason. The Pittsburgh Steelers have been at odds with the NFL commissioner about fines and messages about how their defensive unit can hit opponents. It had James Harrison hinting at retirement and Troy Polamalu complaining about double standards. Now that Pittsburgh defense will be front and center on national television, with the chance to get in some hits on two of the most controversial wide receivers that the NFL has seen in quite some time.
The Cincinnati Bengals seem to have fixed Terrel Owens by putting him in the same locker room as Chad Johnson (Ochocinco). The public drama from both players has calmed down quite a bit, and maybe it is because they have their own 30-minute sports talk show where they can air out their weekly opinions. The losing is going to catch up with the personalities of both star players, though, and if the Bengals can’t find a way to string some wins together, this “experiment” is forever going to be viewed as the next failure in a long line of them for Cincinnati.
Right now the Bengals are last in the AFC North with a 2-5 record. After starting out 2-1 with a nice win over the Baltimore Ravens to their credit, the team has found a way to lose their last four games. It’s not like they are getting beat badly either, as two of the losses were by just three points, and the other two were by a single touchdown. The problem has been that they find new ways to lose and keep letting games slip away, even if they are having a lot of success on offense. Quarterback Carson Palmer has games of 371 and 412 passing yards during the losing streak, so now they just need to play well in the crucial moments.
The Pittsburgh Steelers are 5-2, one win behind the Ravens for first place in the AFC North. They have given up only 102 points this year, but a tough loss last week set them back a step in the AFC. A win on Monday night football would put them back in step with the other elite teams in the AFC, three of which are tied with a 6-2 record in 2010 (Baltimore, New York Jets, and New England Patriots). The wild cards are going to be tough to get this season, so Pittsburgh doesn’t want to fall off the pace. In short, both teams need a win on Monday night, and that should make for an exciting game all around. Kickoff is set for 5:30 p.m. PT (8:30 p.m. ET) and the game will be on ESPN on Monday, Nov. 8.