TV: CBS, Gus Johnson, Brent Jones
SERIES: 65th meeting. The Pittsburgh Steelers lead 38-27 over the Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals have played more
games against the Steelers than any franchise other than the Tennessee/Houston,
68. The Bengals have a 17-15 edge over the Steelers in
2003 RANKINGS: Steelers: offense 7th (27th rush, 2nd pass); defense 5th (23rd rush, 5th pass). Bengals: offense 8th (20th rush, 6th pass); defense 10th (28th rush, 2nd pass)
KEYS TO THE GAME: The Steelers have the No. 1 offense in the AFC, but they have scored just two touchdowns in six red zone possessions. To better take advantage of the Bengals' secondary, QB Tommy Maddox needs to get third WR Antwaan Randle El more involved. He
has just four receptions through
two games after catching 47 passes last season.
costly turnovers he's prone to.
FAST FACTS: Steelers: Coach Bill Cowher is
16-6 against the Bengals.... RB Jerome Bettis has 10 100-yard games against
-- LB Clark Haggans will lose his
starting job now that
-- RB Verron Haynes remains
questionable and may not play on third downs in
-- S Troy Polamalu looks lost playing in the nickel and dime defenses. Their first-round draft choice could not win a starting job as expected and is struggling against the pass as a deep safety.
-- LB Kendrell
-- SS Mike Logan resumed practice on Thursday after missing Wednesday with a bruised quad. He will play. He leads the Steelers with three passes defensed and is third on the team with 11 tackles.
-- RB Corey Dillon (knee) wore a sleeve on his right knee but did practice Thursday. He remains probable for Sunday's game against the Steelers.
-- CB Tory James (virus) missed his second day of practice and is probable.
-- G Victor Leyva (chest muscle) was upgraded to probable.
-- RB Rudi Johnson (thigh) was upgraded to probable.
-- TE Matt Schobel (hamstring) remains questionable.
INSIDE THE CAMPS
A 9mm bullet passed through his
buttocks and lodged in his right thigh on Aug. 31 when he was shot randomly
outside a popular sports bar in downtown
Porter went through two full practices Wednesday and Thursday and said he felt good.
"I'm definitely blessed," Porter said. "God is good. He definitelytouched me and put me in a situation now that lets me put everything in front of me that means something, lets me know where life stands. I'm just happy to be here. What I've come through and having the chance
to go out there and do what I love to do best, play football, 20 days after what happened is actually amazing."
Said coach Bill Cowher: "It's amazing. Where he is at today, where he's been ... everything kept getting positive. We kept waiting for that one little setback. It was almost too good to be true. Now he is out there, and even at the end of last week he was getting ornery and lobbying. Three weeks ago when we first got the news and to think he would be where he is today -- it's an amazing story."
Coach Marvin Lewis says emotion
goes about "this far" and holds his thumb and index an inch apart. His Bengals
got caught up in the emotion of opening day in
Last week, at
Now, with rival
"If you know what you're doing, you have fun doing it and it enables you to be intense," Lewis said after Thursday's practice. "When you don't know what you're doing, you become more tentative and you have to guess.
"We've got to handle it this week because there's going to be a surge. It's going to be an energetic day again on Sunday. It's going to be a jazzed-up crowd. Our guys have to keep their wits about them, stay focused on their jobs and play football."