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These aren't the same Bungles

The Cincinnati Bengals have been a joke the past decade or two.

We're talking Pittsburgh Pirates of the NFL kind of joke.

So it's not that surprising that many people want to overlook them this Sunday.

After all, the Steelers own the Bengals, especially in Cincinnati where the Black 'n Gold have won eight straight.

But this team is different than last year's 4-11-1 squad.

For one, Carson Palmer is healthy. I'm sure you remember Palmer, he's the one that led the Bengals to a division title the year the Steelers won the Super Bowl.

The Bengals also have a running game with Cedric Benson, who's coming off a 141-yard game against the Packers. It was Benson's third 100-yard game out of his last four.

The Bengals have a pass rush, too, which should give the Steelers' offensive line fits.

Cincinnati should be 2-0, if it weren't for the miracle finish by the Broncos two weeks ago.

And I'm sure the Bengals will be fired up to give the defending champs their best shot.

Still, this is a game the Steelers should win. Although it will be a lot closer than people expect. And if the Steelers lose ... well, then it might be time to start to worry.

The pick: Steelers, 21-20.

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