Quick Take: Steelers, Bengals face pivotal tilt

NFL.com and NFL Network reporter Ian Rapoport has his thoughts on the game:

Why this game is intriguing: The dust is completely unsettled in the always-fiery AFC North, with so much we don't know. The Cincinnati Bengals have shown their inconsistency, raising hopes with three straight wins ... before crashing back to Earth by losing at home to the Miami Dolphins and then handing the Cleveland Browns their first victory. And the Pittsburgh Steelers, beset by injuries and a continuing search for their offensive identity, are under .500. Yet they've had a few extra days to lick their wounds after allowing the Tennessee Titans to steal a win last Thursday. This is actually Pittsburgh's first divisional game, so they still have plenty of time to make up ground. And the way the Baltimore Ravens have been hit by injuries on defense, a victory here would thrust the winner right back into the divisional mix.

What to watch: The Steelers have issues, and going 0-3 on the road thus far seems to be indicative of all of them. Age has caught up with this team, and the in-and-out status of elderly safety Troy Polamalu has led to major problems on the back end. Perhaps even more surprising is that the unit allows 4.1 yards per carry. All of which lends to big opportunities for Cincinnati. The Bengals have turned it over far too much, and big-ticket free-agent signing BenJarvus Green-Ellis has yet to really deliver. Facing a flawed Pittsburgh defense, The Law Firm should get plenty of burn.

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