The NFL playoffs have arrived and CBS Sports will offer live online streaming of the crucial Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cincinnati Bengals game to watch for free, as the AFC half of Wild Card Playoff Weekend closes out on Saturday. If the Steelers win the game, they go on to face the Denver Broncos in the AFC Divisional round. A win by the Bengals sends them to Foxborough, Massachusetts, to take on the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots.
If the Steelers can take that first step on Saturday, they’ll be one win away from an NFL record ninth Super Bowl appearance, topping both the Patriots and Dallas Cowboys franchises who have each been to the big game, now in its 50th year, eight times.
So, who will actually win the game? Get the opinions of ESPN First Take experts Skip Bayliss and Stephen A. Smith in the video below.
The Steelers will be missing 900-yard rusher DeAngelo Williams, who will miss the game with a foot injury. With Pittsburgh’s top ball carrier, Le’veon Bell, on injured reserve since Week Eight — after also missing the first two weeks of the 2015 NFL season — the Steelers will be left effectively without a running game against the best defense in the AFC and second-best in the entire NFL, when it comes to the most important statistic, keeping opponents off the scoreboard.
The Bengals defense allowed just 279 points in the team’s 16 games, just two points behind the NFC and NFL-leading Seattle Seahawks defense.
But the Steelers had trouble running the ball all year, putting in the definition of an average performance by ranking just 16th in the 32-team NFL. At the same time, the high-flying Steelers offense led by 33-year-old, 12th-year quarterback Ben Roethlisberger put up the fourth-most points in the NFL, tying Seattle with 423 — more than 26 per game — proving that they can win without gaining much on the ground.
To find out how to watch the Pittsburgh Steelers Vs. Cincinnati Bengals live online for free, without any required login credentials, see the streaming link in the final paragraph of this article. Kickoff is scheduled for 8:15 p.m. Eastern Time at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio, on Saturday, January 9. That’s 5:15 p.m. Pacific Time.
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While Pittsburgh brings a record as one of the all-time great postseason performers in NFL history, the story for Cincinnati is very different. The Bengals have not won a single playoff game since 1990, when the team then led by quarterback Boomer Esiason beat the Houston Oilers (who have since become the Tennessee Titans) in that year’s Wild Card round — only to lose the following week.
The Bengals have two Super Bowl appearances on their ledger, in 1988 and 1981, losing both.
More to the point, since drafting quarterback Andy Dalton out of Texas Christian University in 2011, the Bengals have qualified for the playoffs every year, four in a row — only to lose in the Wild Card round every time.
This year, they likely will not have Dalton under center, thanks to a broken thumb suffered against the Steelers in Week 14. Will second-year backup quarterback A.J. McCarron — who in college took Alabama to two-straight National Championship games — be able to break the curse?
And if so, do the Bengals continue with McCarron the following week against the Patriots? Or do they put Dalton — who is expected to be ready to play by that time — back under center and take their chances? To even get an opportunity to answer those questions, the Bengals will need to get back in the postseason win column for the first time in 25 years, when they take on the Steelers Saturday.
To watch the Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cincinnati Bengals AFC Wild Card Playoff game live online from Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio, and find out if the Bengals behind backup quarterback A.J. McCarron can win their first playoff game since 1990 — or if the Pittsburgh Steelers take the first step toward a record ninth Super Bowl appearance — go to CBSSports.com at this link. Streaming is free and requires no login credentials. The Steelers-Bengals will also stream free through the CBS Sports app on mobile devices and on set-top boxes such as the Roku, Xbox, and Apple TV.
[Featured Photo By John Grieshop / Getty Images]