Steelers at Bengals

1 p.m. [WJZ-13]

.267, .268

Nearly identical winning percentages for David Shula (19-52, .268) and Dick LeBeau (12-33, .267), both of whom coached the Bengals in the past 13 years. Current coach Marvin Lewis is 21-17.


Interceptions thrown by Steelers starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. The Bengals' defense has 14 interceptions. The Bengals were once called "the Flintstones of the NFL," for the outdated way in which they ran their franchise. Feel free to insert cheap or idiotic for outdated.

To see how far the team has come in its 5-1 start this year, consider some of its records by Oct. 23 since its last playoff appearance in 1990. In 1991 and 1994 the Bengals were 0-7 by that date. In 1993 and 2002 they were 0-7. They were 1-6 in 1996, 1997 and 2000 and 1-5 in 1999.

They drafted three of the worst top 10 picks in NFL history in the 1990s. David Klingler (sixth overall in 1992) was sacked 82 times in his first 28 games. Ki-Jana Carter (first overall, 1995) rushed for 747 yards in five seasons. And Akili Smith (third overall, 1999) had a 3-14 record as a starting quarterback.

"At this point, my feeling is I wonder why they ever drafted me," Smith said soon before being released in 2003.

There are no such mistakes now.

"We'd love to be 6-0," quarterback Carson Palmer said. "We let a game slip away, but we're in a good spot to really propel us through the rest of the season. Being 5-1, 1-0 in our division and having a chance to be 2-0 in our division in the first half of the season is a pretty good spot to be sitting in."