In the previous 18 NFL seasons, Cincinnati is the city that has helped heal the Steelers.
Beginning in 1991, the Steelers have gone to the "Queen City'' nine times after losing the previous week, and nine times they've left feeling like kings, winning all nine games.
That should bode well for the Steelers this week when they travel to play the Bengals at 4:15 p.m. Sunday after losing to the Chicago Bears, 17-14, last weekend.
But it may not be that easy this year.
The Steelers have traditionally gone "back to basics'' against the Bengals, pounding the ball on the ground and stopping Cincy with its physical defense. And the last 18 seasons, the Bengals have been the kind of finesse team that usually ended up being a pushover for the Steelers - overall, the Steelers have won 28 of 37 games in that span including one playoff win.
Bengals coach Marvin Lewis, however, must have realized over the last few seasons that if his team was going to compete in the AFC North with the Steelers and the Baltimore Ravens, it needed to get more physical.
The Bengals over the last two seasons have added NFL veteran Roy Williams to their secondary, Tank Johnson and Antwan Odom to its defensive line and drafted Southern Cal outside linebackers Keith Rivers and Rey Maualuga.
They Bengals also tried to get tougher on the offensive line by drafting Alabama's Andre Smith with their first pick this year - although he hasn't been an immediate success - and now use Cedric Benson as a bruising running back.
The Steelers still have the better overall talent, more experience and better team chemistry and could make it 10-for-10 this Sunday. But more and more these Bengals are starting to not resemble the Bungles of old.
The Steelers kept Stefan Logan on their roster, ahead of Isaac Redman, because of his kick return skills.
If Logan doesn't show much in the coming weeks - he fumbled a kickoff last Sunday - his long-term chances of sticking with the team won't be good.
NFL Week No. 3
Game of the week: San Francisco (2-0) at Minnesota (2-0), 1 p.m. Sunday (FOX).
Upset special: Tennessee (+2) at the Jets.
Fantasy tip: Be wary of the Titans-Jets game. The Titans are good at stopping the run - the Jets' offensive strength - and the Jets' defense may be the best in the NFL.
Buck Frank can be reached at 946-7461 or email@example.com.