Commentary

FBO: Cardiac likely won't win this one

Kings of late-game heroics so far, Bengals want to avoid that need versus Vikings

Updated: December 10, 2009, 1:29 PM ET
By Aaron Schatz | Football Outsiders
Getty ImagesLate-game heroics are fun and all, but the Bengals can't afford to run deep in Minnesota.

Each week, Football Outsiders president Aaron Schatz breaks down every game on the NFL schedule using a variety of statistics and metrics to showcase key elements of each contest. This is the Week 14 edition. For more information on Football Outsiders' various metrics, please click here.

Some of the statistics in this article come from the Football Outsiders' game-charting project, in which a group of volunteers watches every NFL game to track stats such as play-action, blitzes, formations and defensive coverage. Please note these numbers are incomplete; right now, we've charted roughly 70 percent of all downs this season.

Thursday Night Football

Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns

The Steelers dominate the Browns in nearly every phase of the game, with one very obvious exception: special teams. The Browns lead Football Outsiders' special-teams ratings, while the Steelers rank 31st. Pittsburgh actually has a reasonable special-teams unit except on kickoffs, when it has the worst net kickoff value of any team since 1994. Because the Steelers' offense is so much better than the Browns' defense, Pittsburgh probably will kick off plenty, which means Josh Cribbs is likely to bring one all the way. So much for that Steelers shutout, fantasy owners.