Game Preview: Steelers at Bengals (Wild Card)

AFC Wild Card Playoff Game Pittsburgh Steelers (10-6) at Cincinnati Bengals (12-4)

Date: Saturday, Jan. 9, 2016
Kickoff: 8:15 p.m. ET
Site: Paul Brown Stadium (65,515) • Cincinnati, Ohio
Playing Surface: Synthetic
TV Coverage: CBS-TV (locally KDKA-TV, channel 2)
Announcers: Jim Nantz (play-by-play), Phil Simms (color analyst) & Tracy Wolfson (sideline)
Local Radio: Steelers Radio Network, WDVE-FM (102.5)/WBGG-AM (970)
Announcers: Bill Hillgrove (play-by-play), Tunch Ilkin (color analyst) & Craig Wolfley (sideline)
National Radio: Westwood One
Announcers: Kevin Harlan (play-by-play), Dan Fouts (color analyst) & Laura Okmin (sideline)


Pittsburgh Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin** Overall regular-season record: 92-52 (.639)/ninth season
Regular-season record with Pittsburgh: 92-52 (.639)/ninth season
Playoff Record/Years: 5-4/five years

Cincinnati Bengals Head Coach Marvin Lewis
Overall regular-season record: 112-94-2 (.543)/13th season
Regular-season record with Cincinnati: 112-94-2 (.543)/13th season
Playoff Record/Years: 0-6/six years

Series History: Series began in 1970
Overall Regular Season: Steelers lead, 56-35
In Pittsburgh: Steelers lead, 30-16
At Cincinnati: Steelers lead, 26-19
Neutral Sites: n/a
Streak: Steelers won previous meeting
Last Regular-Season Meeting: Dec. 13, 2015 at Cincinnati
Pittsburgh 33, Cincinnati 20
Postseason Series: Steelers lead, 1-0
Last Postseason Meeting: Jan. 8, 2006 at Cincinnati
Pittsburgh 31, Cincinnati 17
(preseason and postseason record not included in overall series record)

Pittsburgh owns a 56-35 all-time regular-season record against the Cincinnati Bengals, including a 26-19 mark on the road...the Steelers defeated the Ravens in their most recent match-up on Dec. 13, 2015 in Cincinnati, 33-20...the two teams will meet for the second time in the postseason in series history...Pittsburgh defeated Cincinnati their previous playoff game:

2005Wild CardW, 31-17Cincinnati

**THE LAST TIME VS. CINCINNATI Pittsburgh 33, Cincinnati 20 Dec. 13, 2015 Paul Brown Stadium (65,564)

Photos from the last matchup vs the Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on December 13th, 2015.


  • The Steelers' defense had three interceptions to help secure a 33-20 victory against the Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium.

Pittsburgh scored on its opening drive of the game as RB Le'Veon Bell scored on a one-yard run to give the Steelers a 7-0 lead. Cincinnati drove to the Pittsburgh four-yard line on its opening drive, but QB Andy Dalton was picked off by DE Stephon Tuitt. Dalton would leave the game due to a right thumb injury.

On the Steelers' ensuing drive, K Chris Boswell made a 42-yard field goal to give the Steelers a 10-0 lead. Boswell connected from 47-yards out midway through the second quarter to give Pittsburgh a 13-0 advantage.

QB A.J. McCarron connected with WR A.J. Green for a 66- yard touchdown to cut the lead to 13-7, but it would be the closest Cincinnati would get for the remainder of the game. Boswell made a 45-yard field goal late in the second quarter, and the Steelers led 16-7 at halftime.

On the Bengals' opening drive of the second half, CB William Gay picked off McCarron and returned the interception 23 yards for a touchdown to give Pittsburgh a 23-7 lead. K Mike Nugent's 27-yard field goal early in the third quarter cut the lead to 23-10. Boswell added a 31-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter to extend the Steelers' lead to 26-7.

Nugent made a 27-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter to cut the lead to 26-13. S Robert Golden's interception of McCarron set up Williams' second rushing touchdown of the game to give the Steelers a 33-13 advantage. Cincinnati got a late touchdown when McCarron threw a five-yard pass to HB Rex Burkhead.


Bengals (10-3)0731020

PIT19:23D. Williams 1 yd. run (Boswell kick)11-80; 5:377-0
PIT212:33Boswell 42 yd. FG13-66; 7:2710-0
PIT27:00Boswell 47 yd. FG8-27; 3:4613-0
CIN26:23Green 66 yd. pass from McCarron (Nugent kick)2-80; 0:3713-7
PIT20:22Boswell 45 yd. FG6-27; 0:4216-7
PIT314:10Gay 23 yd. interception return (Boswell kick)- ;-23-7
CIN310:10Nugent 46 yd. FG9-40; 4:0023-10
PIT414:56Boswell 31 yd. FG12-64; 7:0426-10
CIN410:06Nugent 27 yd. FG10-71; 4:5026-13
PIT43:49D. Williams 1 yd. run4-16; 1:2533-13
CIN41:03Burkhead 5 yd. pass from McCarron (Nugent kick)10-80; 2:4633-20

Passing Yards
Steelers: Ben Roethlisberger - 386 (12/4/2005)
Bengals: Jon Kitna - 411 (12/30/2001)

Rushing Yards
Steelers: Le'Veon Bell - 185 (12/7/2014)
Bengals: James Brooks - 133 (9/30/1985)

Receiving Yards
Steelers: Lynn Swann - 192 (12/2/1979)
Bengals: A.J. Green - 224 (12/7/2014)


• In 2005, the Steelers became the first No. 6 seed in NFL history to win the Super Bowl. Since then two other Wild Card teams have gone on to win the Super Bowl ('10 Green Bay, sixth seed and '07 Giants, fifth seed).
• Pittsburgh has played in 56 playoff games, which is second all-time behind Dallas (60).
• The Steelers have won nine of their last 13 postseason games.
• Pittsburgh is 7-3 all-time in the postseason at Heinz Field since the stadium opened in 2001, including winning four of their previous five.
• The Steelers won the AFC Central title a team-record six consecutive seasons from 1974-79. They also won four consecutive division titles from 1994-97.
• The Steelers won a team-record seven consecutive postseason games, including two Super Bowls (IX and X), from Dec. 22, 1974 through Dec. 19, 1976. They won six consecutive postseason games from Dec. 30, 1978 through Jan. 20, 1980, including victories in Super Bowls XIII and XIV.
• The Steelers have been shut out only once in the postseason, during the 1947 Eastern Division Playoff game, Dec. 21, 1947, versus the Philadelphia Eagles. The Steelers and Eagles finished that season with 8-4 records and tied for first place in the Eastern Division. In those days, there was only one NFL Championship Game, so the two Pennsylvania neighbors squared off for the right to face the Chicago Cardinals in the Championship Game. The Eagles won, 21-0, but lost in the Championship Game, 28-21, to the Cardinals, the same franchise the Steelers faced in Super Bowl XLIII.
• The Steelers record for fewest points allowed in a playoff game is five, during a 34-5 win in the 1978 AFC Championship Game versus the Houston Oilers at Three Rivers Stadium, on Jan. 7, 1979. The Steelers allowed a team-high 45 points during a 45- 28 AFC Championship Game road loss to the Miami Dolphins on Jan. 6, 1985.
• Pittsburgh has faced 22 different teams in the postseason and has a winning record against 12 of those opponents. The Steelers have split their postseason contests with one team and have a losing record versus nine teams.

• Owns a 5-4 all-time record in the postseason.
• Became the second head coach in NFL history to reach two Super Bowls in his first four seasons as a head coach.
• Became the youngest head coach in NFL history to win a Super Bowl (Super Bowl XLIII).
• Became just the seventh coach in NFL history to win a Super Bowl within his first two seasons as head coach.


The best photos of QB Ben Roethlisberger from the 2015 season.

• Is 10-5 all-time (.667) all-time in the postseason as a starting quarterback.
• Led the Steelers to the Super Bowl in three of his first seven seasons as the starting quarterback.
• Became just the sixth quarterback in NFL history to start three Super Bowls in his first seven seasons (Troy Aikman, Tom Brady, John Elway, Bob Griese, Jim Kelly).
• Led the Steelers to four AFC Championship Games in his first seven seasons as the starting quarterback, becoming just the eighth quarterback in NFL history to do so (Troy Aikman, Tom Brady,v Terry Bradshaw, Jim Kelly, Donovan McNabb, Ken Stabler, Roger Staubach).
• Became the youngest quarterback in league history to win a Super Bowl (Super Bowl XL) at 23 years old.
• Became the second-youngest starting quarterback to win two Super Bowls (26 years, 336 days old on Feb. 1, 2009; Tom Brady - 26 years, 182 days on Feb. 1, 2004).
• Engineered a game-winning, 78-yard drive that culminated with a six- yard touchdown pass to WR Santonio Holmes for the go-ahead score with 35 seconds left in Super Bowl XLIII.
• Became just the 10th quarterback in NFL history to win more than one Super Bowl (Terry Bradshaw, Joe Montana - 4; Troy Aikman, Tom Brady - 3; Ben Roethlisberger, John Elway, Bob Griese, Jim Plunkett, Bart Starr, Roger Staubach - 2).
• In 15 career postseason games, has a 61.5 completion percentage (279-of 454) for 3,484 yards and 21 touchdowns with 19 interceptions for a 83.3 passer rating. His 279 completions are the most in Steelers postseason history and his 3,484 passing yards and 21 touchdowns are the second-most in team postseason annals.
• Has seven multi-touchdown postseason passing games.
• Had a career playoff-high 65-yard touchdown pass to WR Santonio Holmes in the 2008 AFC Championship Game versus the Baltimore Ravens.
• Posted a career playoff-high 337 yards passing in the 2007 AFC Wild Card game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
• Has engineered three postseason fourth quarter/overtime game-winning drives, including most recently in the 2010 AFC Divisional Playoff Game against the Baltimore Ravens.

• Team is 9-4 in the postseason during his career.
• Has 46 career postseason receptions for 573 yards (12.5 avg.) with four touchdown catches, all team postseason records for tight ends.
• Has caught a pass in nine consecutive postseason games played.
• In the 2010 AFC Championship Game, finished with two receptions for 38 yards (19.0 avg.), becoming only the sixth player in team history and just the 11th tight end in NFL history to reach 400 career postseason receiving yards.
• Had career playoff-highs of eight catches for 85 yards in the 2007 AFC Wild Card Game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
• Of his 46 postseason catches, 26 have gone for first downs or touchdowns.


Wide receiver Antonio Brown made the highlight reel with a quick catch on a crossing route for a 56-yard touchdown with a little twist at the end...

• Has postseason career totals of 19 catches for 277 yards in five games.
• In his first career postseason game, finished with a game-high 75 receiving yards in the Steelers' 2010 AFC Divisional Playoff win over the Baltimore Ravens.
• Hauled in a career postseason long catch of 58 yards on the Steelers' final drive to set up the game-winning touchdown against the Ravens.
• In the 2010 AFC Championship Game, caught a 14-yard pass on third-and-six to seal the victory in the final two minutes of the game.
• Made his first career postseason start vs. Baltimore in the 2014 AFC Wild Card game and caught single-game playoff highs of nine catches for 117 yards.

• Tied a Steelers postseason playoff game rookie record with five catches in his postseason debut vs. Baltimore in the 2015 AFC Wild Card game, finishing with five catches for 61 yards and a touchdown.

• Has posted 45 tackles (30 solo) in 14 career playoff games (nine starts) - 13 games (nine starts) with Pittsburgh and one with Cincinnati.
• Had one of the most memorable and game-changing plays in Super Bowl history with his record-breaking 100-yard interception return for a touchdown in Super Bowl XLIII. It marked the longest play in Super Bowl history, breaking the old mark of 99 yards on a kickoff return by Desmond Howard (Green Bay) vs. New England in Super Bowl XXXI.
• Finished Super Bowl XLIII with four tackles (three solo) and one interception and two QB hurries.
• Has 6.5 sacks in his postseason career, including 3.0 in the 2010AFC Divisional Playoff Game vs. Baltimore.
• His three sacks in the 2010 AFC Divisional Game against the Ravens tied the team's postseason single-game record (Chad Brown vs. IND, 12/29/96 and Gerald Williams vs. KC, 1/8/94.
• Posted a six-yard sack in Super Bowl XLV.

• In nine career postseason games, has 47 tackles (36 solo), one fumble recovery and four special teams tackles.
• Had five tackles in the 2008 AFC Championship Game.
• His lone fumble recovery sealed the 2008 AFC Championship Game win over the Baltimore Ravens.
• Team is 5-4 in his nine games played (five starts).
• Made his first career postseason start in the 2010 AFC Divisional Playoff game vs. Baltimore and finished with nine tackles.

• Has played in nine career postseason games and team is 5-4.
• Has two career postseason fumble recoveries.
• In the 2010 AFC Championship Game, posted his first career postseason touchdown as he scooped up a Jets' fumble and returned it 19 yards for a touchdown late in the first half.


The best photos of Linebacker James Harrison from the 2015 season thus far.

Former Steelers/Bengals**
• Pittsburgh LB William Gay played one season (2013) in Cincinnati.
• Bengals HC Marvin Lewis served as the Steelers' LB coach for four seasons (1992-95).
• Bengals TE coach Jonathan Hayes coached with the Steelers from 1994-1996. His Brother, DL coach Jay Hayes, also in Pittsburgh from 1999-2001.
• Bengals OQC/asst. OL coach Brian Braswell had a stint in Pittsburgh, doing spring/summer work for the Steelers in 2010.

Area Connections
• Steelers HC Mike Tomlin was the DB coach at the University of Cincinnati from 1999-2000.
• Steelers LB James Harrison is from Akron, Ohio, and attended Kent State University.
• Pittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger, an Ohio native, played his collegiately at Miami University (Ohio) in Oxford.
• Steelers FS Mike Mitchell hails from Fort Thomas, Ky.
• Bengals HC Marvin Lewis was born in McDonald, Pa., and coached for the University of Pittsburgh from 1990-91.
• Cincinnati DE Will Clarke is from Pittsburgh,Pa.
• Bengals TE coach Jonathan Hayes and his brother, DL coach Jay Hayes, were born in South Fayette, Pa.
• Bengals WR coach James Urban coached at Clarion University from 1997-98.
• Cincinnati asst. HC/OL coach Paul Alexander was a GA at Penn State from 1983-84.
• Bengals strength and conditioning coach Chip Morton was a strength and conditioning asst. at Penn State for five years (1987-1991).

NFL Connections
• Steelers STC Danny Smith and Cincinnati QB coach Ken Zampese worked together on the Philadelphia Eagles' coaching staff in 1998.
• Steelers OC Todd Haley was the HC in Kansas City from 2009-11 when Bengals DE Wallace Gilberry was a played for the Chiefs.
• Pittsburgh OL coach Mike Munchak spent five seasons (2004- 08) with Cincinnati LB coach Matt Burke in Tennessee.
• Munchak coached Bengals CB Adam Jones for two seasons with the Titans (2005-06).
• Pittsburgh ILB coach Jerry Olsavsky played for Baltimore when Bengals STC Darrin Simmons was on the Ravens' staff in 1998.
• Pittsburgh C/G Cody Wallace and Gilberry were teammates with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the start of the 2012 season.
• Steelers S Mike Mitchell and WR Darrius Heyward-Bey each spent two seasons (2010-11) in Oakland with Bengals OC Hue Jackson.

College Connections
• Steelers S Robert Golden played four seasons (2000-03) with Bengals K Mike Nugent at Ohio State.
• Allen also played with Cincinnati LB A.J. Hawk for two years at Ohio State (2002-03).
• Steelers OT Marcus Gilbert was teammates with Bengals DE Carlos Dunlap (207-09) and S Reggie Nelson (2006) at Florida.
• Pittsburgh G David DeCastro was teammates with Cincinnati HB Ryan Hewitt for three seasons (2009-11) at Stanford.
• Steelers WR Martavis Bryant was a Clemson teammate of Bengals DT Brandon Thompson in 2011.


Here are your selections to represent the Steelers in the 2016 Pro Bowl in Hawaii.

• 2016 Pro Bowl Selection
• Week 2 AFC Offensive Player of the Week
• Week 10 AFC Offensive Player of the Week/ FedEx Air Player of the Week
• Week 13 FedEx Air Player of the Week
• Week 15 FedEx Air Player of the Week

• 2016 Pro Bowl Selection
• Week 9 Castrol Edge Clutch Performer of the Week
• November AFC Offensive Player of the Month
• Week 13 AFC Special Teams Player of the Week
• Week 15 AFC Offensive Player of the Week
• Week 15 Castrol Edge Clutch Performer of the Week

• 2016 Pro Bowl Selection

• Week 9 FedEx Ground Player of the Week
• Week 13 FedEx Ground Player of the Week

• Week 6 AFC Special Teams Player of the Week


• Is 16 passing yards from 3,500 in his postseason career.
• Needs 21 pass completions to record 300 in his postseason career and to become the first quarterback in Steelers history with 300 in the postseason.
• Would improve to 11-5 all-time as a starter in the postseason with a win.
• Two or more touchdown passes to register his eighth career multi-touchdown passing game in the postseason.
• Would record his third 300-yard playoff game with 300 yards (337 vs. Jacksonville, 1/5/2008 and 334 vs. Baltimore, Jan. 3, 2015).
• With 300 passing yards, would tie Terry Bradshaw (3) for the most 300-yard games in Steelers postseason history.

• Needs 23 receiving yards to tally 300 in his postseason career.
• Will record the first touchdown catch of his postseason career with a scoring grab.

• Will record the first touchdown run of his postseason career with a rushing score.

• Is four catches from 50 in his postseason career.
• Needs one touchdown catch to post the fifth of his postseason career and to become the fifth Steelers player with at least five postseason scoring receptions.


• Needs a half-sack to tally his seventh sack in postseason history.

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