Steelers-Bengals Key Ring
James Harrison, Cincinnati LB
It kind of goes without saying. Harrison gets to play in primetime against the team that opted not to re-sign him. He had 11 sacks in 11 games against the Ravens after they cut him, and he has 9.5 sacks in 7 games on Monday Night. Combine the variables and look out.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Cincinnati RB
Green-Ellis had 15 carries for 14 yards in the last game against Pittsburgh … and the Bengals still won. If he can get some decent chunks Monday night to help offset a vastly improved passing game, the offense could put on a show.
Mike Nugent, Cincinnati K
Bengals kickers have attempted 35 field goals (23 made) in their last 20 games against Pittsburgh, and the kicks have factored greatly in the outcomes as every Cincinnati win against the Steelers since 1996 has been decided by single digits.
Troy Polamalu, Pittsburgh SS
When is he not a key? Polamalu has 96 tackles in 18 career games against the Bengals, along with 2.5 sacks and 5 interceptions, one of which he returned for a touchdown. The Steelers are 13-5 in those games.
Kelvin Beachum, Pittsburgh C
The second-year player will be making his first career start after three-time Pro Bowler Maurkice Pouncey was lost for the year in the opener. A tackle in college and listed as a guard on the Pittsburgh roster, last week was the first time Beachum played center since the pee wee league.
Isaac Redman, Pittsburgh RB
The Steelers have had recent success (10-6) against the Bengals without a 100-yard rusher, but they are 11-1 in their last 12 when a back hits the milestone. But asking for 100 from Redman might be a tall order after he got just 9 yards on eight carries last week.