What does this mean?
It means that I'm going week by week through the Bengals 2009 schedule and looking at their top five games versus each opponent. If you'd like to catch up, here's what you have missed:
Week 1 Highlight: Bengals get first win in franchise history.
Week 2 Highlight: The first chapter in the Brett Favre bible is written.
This week, I'll look at the top three wins for the Steelers, when the teams meet again in Week 10, I'll look at the top three wins for the Bengals (And yes Steelers fans, the Bengals have beaten you three times in team history).
Fun Fact: On Mon. Oct. 19, 1992, a Steelers 20-0 win ended the Bengals then NFL record 186 game scoring streak. The Bengals were shutout for the first time since Nov. 16, 1980 and kicker Jim Breech was held scoreless for the first and only time in his 14-year NFL career.
All-time Series: Steelers Lead 48-30 (Including postseason)
Let's start the countdown (remember, these are Steelers wins only).
3. Nov. 2, 1975, at Cincinnati
There have only been four occasions in NFL history when both the Steelers and Bengals both finished the season with double digit wins and 1975 was one of them.
For this November showdown, the Steelers came into the game with a 5-1 record, but they weren't in first place. The upstart Bengals had shot their way to the top of the division with an undefeated 6-0 record through the season's first six weeks.
Not only did the game live up to its hype but the big stars produced.
Steeler quarterback Terry Bradshaw threw two touchdown passes (both to Lynn Swann) and ran for another. Bradshaw's effort gave his team a 30-17 fourth quarter lead.
Bengals quarterback Ken Anderson one upped Bradshaw in the TD pass department, with three. The final one was a 22-yard pass to Chip Myers that cut the lead to 30-24.
The Bengals would get the ball back after the score, but they wouldn't be able to punch in a potential game-winning touchdown.
Pittsburgh would finish the season as Super Bowl Champs with a 12-2 record and an AFC Central Division crown. The Bengals regular season ended with an 11-3 record and a first round 31-28 playoff loss to the Raiders.
Result: Pittsburgh 30, Cincinnati 24
2. Jan. 8, 2005, at Cincinnati
There's almost no need to recap this game, if you're a fan of either team you know what happened.
On the second play from scrimmage, Carson Palmer took a low hit from the Steeler's Kimo Von Oelhoffen as he threw a 67-yard completion to Chris Henry.
To this day Bengals fans believe two things: A. the hit was cheap and B. the Steelers lose this game if Palmer doesn't get hurt.
Cheap or not, did Von Oelhoffen's hit win the Steeler's the Super Bowl? It's certainly debatable.
Result: Pittsburgh 31, Cincinnati 17
1. Dec. 31, 2006, at Cincinnati
If you're a Bengals fan, this loss had to sting more then the playoff loss. Why? Because after Carson Palmer went down, most Bengals fans knew deep down inside that any hopes of winning went down with Palmer.
Bengals fans had almost four full quarters to accept the playoff defeat.
This game was different though. A win against the hated Steelers in the final game of the 2006 season would have kept the Bengals playoff hopes alive (and because Denver would lose later on in the day, a win would have clinched a playoff berth).
With under 30 seconds left in the fourth quarter of a 17-17 game game, Bengals kicker Shayne Graham pushed a 39-yard field goal attempt just right.
The missed field goal set up an overtime that would eventually result in the most depressing New Year's Eve in city history, which coincidentally would be one week after the most depressing Christmas Eve in city history (See Denver-Cincinnati top five, number two).
In overtime, Steeler quarterback Ben Roethlisberger hit future Super Bowl MVP Santonio Holmes on a short slant route that Holmes turned into a 67-yard yard game-winning touchdown pass.
Only a Pope's funeral could be described as quieter then Paul Brown Stadium after the Holmes score.
Result: Steelers 23, Cincinnati 17
Here's what I want to know from Steelers fans; which victory made you feel better: beating the Bengals in the playoffs or eliminating them on the last week of the season?
Bengals fans, which loss hurt more?
And for everyone, was the Carson Palmer hit a cheap shot or an accident by Von Oelhoffen?