The Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals might have one of the most intense rivalries in the National Football League, but it is not one of the most competitive. The Steelers have been mostly dominant throughout the history of the rivalry, although the Cincinnati Bengals were the better team in the 1980’s. While the Steelers were making deep playoff runs year after year, the Bengals will mostly racking up last place finishes in the AFC Central and AFC North.
The Steelers and the Bengals share a common rivalry with the Cleveland Browns as well as the Baltimore Ravens. Cincinnati and Pittsburgh are both blue-collar American cities, and they are crazy about their football teams. The Bengals and Steelers have seen this rivalry be turned up a few notches in recent seasons, with Cincinnati taking some absolute shots as the Steelers both literally and figuratively. This rivalry will continue to get grow and better, especially if the Bengals are able to go on a run of successful seasons.
History of Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cincinnati Bengals Rivalry
The Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals were placed in the same division, the AFC Central, upon the merger of the AFL-NFL in 1970. Pittsburgh and Cincinnati moved to the AFC North in 2002, and have remained division rivals ever since. The first meeting of the 2019 regular season will be the 100th all-time meeting between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals. Pittsburgh has dominated this rivalry since the beginning and leads the all-time series by a count of 62-35 in regular season games.
The Steelers have also won both of the playoff games in this rivalry, with the games taking place in 2005 and 2015. The 1980’s is the only decade in which the Bengals have had a winning record against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Since the two teams were moved to the AFC North in 2002, the teams have combined to win the division a total of 12 times.
The Pittsburgh Steelers actually got their star as the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1933, but were renamed in 1940. The Steelers are the oldest franchise in the American Football Conference, and they are also one of the most successful. Pittsburgh actually struggled to find relevance before the AFL-NFL merger, but have dominated the AFC since the 1970 season.
The Steelers are tied with the New England Patriots with six Super Bowl titles, and have played in the AFC Championship Game a whopping 16 times since 1970. The vaunted Steelers defense in the 1970’s earned the nickname, “The Steel Curtain,” and were one of the most dominating defensive lines in NFL history. Pittsburgh shockingly missed the playoffs in 2018, but odds are that they will be back on top in the near future.
The Cincinnati Bengals began playing games in the American Football League in 1968, but joined the NFL in 1970 when the merger happened. The Cincinnati Bengals hit their stride in the 1980’s and won the AFC Championship in 1981 and 1988, but lost the Super Bowl in both of those seasons. The Bengals went through a rough stretch in the 1990’s and 2000’s, being one of the worst franchises in the NFL year after year.
Cincinnati made five straight playoff appearances in the AFC from 2011-2015, but have once again fallen on tough times. The Bengals have a record of just 357-427-4 in regular season games, and have gone just 5-14 in the postseason. Cincinnati is still looking to find the consistency that the greatest NFL franchises possess.
Head to Head Comparison of Steelers and Bengals
The Pittsburgh Steelers are one of the most storied franchises in the National Football League, and the Cincinnati Bengals have struggled to stay relevant. The Steelers have racked up a total of six league championships, with all of them coming in the Super Bowl era. The Bengals have yet to win a Super Bowl, and did not win a league title before coming into the NFL.
Cincinnati has won a pair of conference championships in 1981 and 1988, but the Steelers have won a total of eight conference championships. Pittsburgh also has a commanding lead in division championships, racking up 23 of them to just eight for Cincinnati. No matter how you look at this rivalry, it is clear to see how dominant the Steelers have been.
Quick Look at Last 20 Games Between Steelers vs. Bengals
The Pittsburgh Steelers have been dominant in this rivalry since the beginning, and the same has been true in the last 20 games against the Cincinnati Bengals. The Steelers have posted a 16-4 against their NFC North rival, and they have been dominant both at home and on the road. The Steelers have gone 7-3 against the Bengals in games played in Pittsburgh, which has been the trend for this entire rivalry.
The surprise of the last 20 games has been the results of the ten games played in Cincinnati. You would think that the Bengals would be the right pick in a majority of these games, but those predictions would have been wrong. The Pittsburgh Steelers posted a 9-1 record against the Bengals in the last 10 games played in the city of Cincinnati. Odds are that the Bengals will reverse this trend in future seasons, but Pittsburgh has clear control of this rivalry heading into 2019.
Even though the Pittsburgh Steelers have won 16 of the last 20 games against the Cincinnati Bengals, the Steelers might not always be the right pick. We should also take a look at the results in relations to the point spreads and betting lines for total points to get a better feel for this rivalry. The Pittsburgh Steelers have been the betting favorite in 15 of the last 20 games of this rivalry. The Steelers managed to post a 9-6 record against the spread in the last 20 games.
The Bengals were the favorite in the other five matchups, and they struggled to cover the spread. Cincinnati went just 1-4 against the spread as the favorite, meaning that the Steelers won 80 percent of the games in which they were the underdog. The Steelers and Bengals combined to go over the point total just seven times, while the under was the right pick in the other 13 games. If the last 20 games helps us make any predictions moving forward, the Steelers and the under are the right picks.