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NFL Sunday night spotlight: Steelers vs. Bengals

History supports Pittsburgh as the favorite, but home-field advantage and receiver A.J. Green give Cincinnati a slight edge.

October 20, 2012|By Lance Pugmire
  • Bengals receiver A.J. Green hauls in a touchdown reception against the Browns last Sunday.
Bengals receiver A.J. Green hauls in a touchdown reception against the… (Jason Miller / Getty Images )

Pittsburgh (2-3) at Cincinnati (3-3)

Time: 5:15 p.m. TV: Channel 4

Story line: History supports Pittsburgh in this AFC North contest (Steelers have won four straight and nine of 11 in the rivalry.). Things are different this season, however. The Steelers are reeling with injuries to safety Troy Polamalu, running back Rashard Mendenhall and linebacker James Harrison, plus they re coming off a loss at weak Tennessee. The Bengals have lost two straight and don't possess much of a run game. Home-field advantage and NFL receiving yards leader A.J. Green give the hosts an slight edge.

Steelers said: "The panic button, we're tapping on it. We can't lose no more, that's the approach. Five, six losses you ain't going to be in the playoffs." — Larry Foote, linebacker.

Bengals said: "We're learning to communicate together and figure those things out. That's the key to the running game." — Andrew Whitworth, tackle, on line's instability.

Bottom line: The Bengals are favored by one point. … Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is 14-2 in games played in his native Ohio. … Because of injury, rookie Mike Adams is expected to start at right tackle for Pittsburgh. … Bengals' Green has a TD in five consecutive games.

lance.pugmire@latimes.com

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