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Fearless Prediction: Bengals (6-2) at Steelers (6-2)
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Game SnapshotKICKOFF: Sunday, 1 p.m. ET
TV: CBS (Jim Nantz, Phil Simms)
KEYS TO THE GAME: The Bengals can't fear the Steelers' top-ranked run defense. RB Cedric Benson will get plenty of early carries as Cincinnati attempts to set up play-action and take some of the aggressiveness out of Pittsburgh's pass rush. Right behind Pittsburgh's run defense is the Bengals' (83.9 yards per game), and Cincinnati will play plenty of its base 4-3 defense after featuring more nickel looks with big leads the past two games. If Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger has help from the ground game and time in the pocket, he should pick apart a Bengals secondary giving up 241.8 yards per game. Need to know: The Bengals are 26-1 under coach Marvin Lewis when having a rusher with 25-plus carries. ... The Steelers are 4-0 at home and have a 10-game winning streak at Heinz Field, including playoffs.
- SS Roy Williams did not practice Thursday due to his forearm injury. He is doubtful for Sunday's game at Pittsburgh which would make him inactive for five of the last six games.
- LB Keith Rivers did not practice on Thursday as he tries to recover from a calf injury. It looks like he will be unable to go and that Brandon Johnson will get the start.
- OG Evan Mathis did not practice on Thursday due to an ankle injury. He is doubtful for Sunday's game against Pittsburgh which means that Nate Livings will get the start.
- FB Jeremi Johnson had limited practice due to a chest injury after not practicing on Wednesday. He should be able to play on Sunday.
- RB Cedric Benson had full participation in practice after getting the veterans rest on Wednesday.
- RB Willie Parker said plans are to have him take every third series Sunday vs. Cincinnati. Parker has only eight carries in the past three games after Rashard Mendenhall took over as the starting halfback.
- LB Lawrence Timmons went through a second straight practice Thursday and should start Sunday. He missed Monday's game with a sprained ankle, an injury suffered Oct. 25.
- DE Travis Kirschke missed practice again on Thursday and likely will miss his second straight game with a torn calf muscle.
- RB Mewelde Moore, used primarily as the Steelers' third-down back, also has been used at running back late in games as the Steelers turn to him for ball security with the lead. He has done fill that role in three straight games.
- LB LaMarr Woodley, who has two fumble returns for touchdowns in his three seasons, needs one more to tie for the Steelers' career record.