The NFL postseason is upon us finally. In one of the rarer playoffs, the Baltimore Ravens aren't involved, but the AFC North division is being represented by two of the four teams this season. The Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals are seeing each other for the third time this season, having split the matchup in the regular season 1-1.
Whoever wins tonight will claim a playoff victory, another week of football, and the season crown for division superiority. The other team will be watching next week from their homes.
Where to Watch: 8:15 on CBS
Spread: Steelers by 3.0
Background: The Bengals were one of the hottest teams in the NFL, starting off the season with eight straight wins. Andy Dalton was having one of the best seasons of his career, the Bengals had an okay rushing attack, and the Bengals defense was elite. Unfortunately for the Bengals, Andy Dalton injured his thumb in Week 14 of the regular season and has yet to return. While A.J. McCarron performed well in his absence, he lost a crucial Week 16 game that ultimately prevented the Bengals from winning the AFC.
The Pittsburgh Steelers had a difficult road to the playoffs, needing the Buffalo Bills to pull an upset on the Jets in Week 17 to make the playoffs as the #6 seed. As always, the Steelers are lead by Ben Roethlisberger, who has had his share of difficulty since his amazing 2014 season. The Steelers rushing attack was led by DeAngelo Williams, who had 907 yards and 11 touchdowns off of 200 carries.
This is the second time the Steelers and Bengals have met in the postseason. This is the seventh postseason trip for Marvin Lewis' Bengals and the fourth playoff game that they've hosted as AFC North champions. This is the sixth postseason trip for Mike Tomlin's Steelers.