Let's do a little experiment.
The following are the 7-
3 Steelers' remaining games. Pencil in a "W'' or "L'' beside each team in accordance with your opinion on whether the Steelers will win or lose the game:
It may be safe to assume no one has the Steelers going 6-0 or 0-6 the rest of the way. In fact, probably the most occurring scenario would have the Steelers winning three and losing three to finish the year 10-6.
My guess would be that nearly everyone, including non-Steeler fans, would have a "W'' next to the first game, tonight's home game with the Cincinnati Bengals.
When looking over the Steelers' remaining games, tonight looks like the Steelers' best bet for a victory. But, although I have a "W'' next to it, it wouldn't be a big surprise to see the Steelers lose to the Bengals.
The way the Steelers have been playing lately, no sure wins exist any more for them. Each week in the NFL, it is proven that anything can happen. That's why we'll all be watching Thanksgiving Day when the current undefeated Tennessee Titans play the current winless Detroit Lions.
Most Philadelphia Eagles followers were probably not expecting the Bengals to tie their team last week. In fact, I'm sure Donovan McNabb wasn't expecting it, either.
The Bengals have withstood their slump at the beginning of the season, and Ryan Fitzpatrick has gained confidence and is no longer an inexperienced quarterback. They still have one of the best receiving tandems in the game, and with William Gay and Anthony Madison seeing extended time in the Steelers' secondary, one must not look at the Bengals as pushovers tonight.
The Steelers have enjoyed great success against the Bengals, winning 26 of the last 35 meetings, but they've only swept them five times in the last 13 years.
Through the course of the season, a team usually wins or loses at least a few games that make you scratch your head. Could that be tonight?
File away your predictions and check them at the end of the season. Anyone who gets them all correct, boast about your success via an email to email@example.com.
No changing your answers, though.
NFL Week No. 12
Game of the week: New York Giants at Arizona, 4:15 p.m. Sunday (FOX). If the Cardinals are going to do anything in the playoffs, they'll need home-field advantage. A win here will go a long way in helping to secure some home playoff games.
Upset special: Philadelphia (+1) at Baltimore.
Fantasy tip: The Cowboys' Tony Romo may post big numbers the next two weeks, but he finishes the season facing four good defenses - Steelers, Giants, Ravens and Eagles.
Buck Frank can be reached at 946-7461 or firstname.lastname@example.org.