Week 13 in the NFL concludes at Paul Brown Stadium on Monday night, as the Cincinnati Bengals and Pittsburgh Steelers meet in an AFC North rivalry game. Winners of six straight, the Steelers are looking to keep pace with the New England Patriots in the race for the No. 1 seed, while the Bengals are simply hoping to keep their very slight playoff hopes alive.
Here’s everything you need to know to watch Monday Night Football:
Live Stream Info
The game is scheduled to start at 8:30 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on ESPN. That means you can watch a live stream via WatchESPN if you have a cable log-in, but if you don’t have cable, you can watch the game online or on another streaming device by signing up for one of the following cable-free, live-TV streaming services. They cost a monthly fee but all come with a free trial, so you can watch tonight’s game for free:
DirecTV Now: ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN3 are included in all four channel packages. It comes with a free 7-day trial no matter what package you choose, plus you can get $25 off your first month if you enter promo code “BDAY2017”. You can watch on your computer via your browser, or on your tablet or streaming device via the DirecTV Now app
Sling TV: ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN3 are all included in the “Sling Orange” package. You can sign up for a free 7-day trial right here. You can watch on your computer via the Sling website, or on your tablet or streaming device via the Sling TV app
PlayStation Vue: ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN3 are part of every bundle. You can sign up for a free 5-day trial right here. You can watch on your computer via the PS Vue website, or on your tablet or streaming device via the PlayStation Vue app
Also note: You can also watch on your computer via the WatchESPN website, or on your tablet or streaming device via the WatchESPN app. When you’re asked to verify your cable provider, you’ll just use your DirecTV Now, Sling TV or PS Vue credentials to sign in
The Steelers have won six straight overall, they’ve won 10 straight prime-time games, and they’re favored by six points. All indications suggest they’ll walk away from this one with a 10-2 record, but being on the road in a heated divisional rivalry means nothing can be taken for granted.
While Pittsburgh has won eight of the last nine against the Bengals, three of the last four were decided by one possession, and the last two games in Cincinnati required a late fourth-quarter score for the Steelers to prevail. Pittsburgh is favored big for a reason, but don’t be surprised if this one ultimately comes down to a few key plays in the fourth quarter.
If the Bengals are going to spring the upset, the running game will be key. Woefully inefficient on the ground for most of the year–they rank last in the NFL in both yards per attempt and rushing yards per game–the Bengals got things going last week, as Joe Mixon piled up 114 rushing yards and 51 receiving yards, and Cincy hit the 30-point mark for just the second time all season.
Here’s the problem. That was against the Browns, and Cincy’s only other 30-plus point game of the year also came against the Browns. And the Steelers are not the Browns. The Steelers are fourth in the NFL in scoring defense and fourth in Football Outsiders’ defensive efficiency ratings, ranking seventh against the pass and sixth against the run. When these teams met in October for a 29-14 Steelers win, the Bengals managed just 179 yards of total offense and 3.5 yards per play.
If Cincy is able to lean on Mixon, control the time of possession and keep the Steelers’ red-hot offense off the field as much as possible, an upset is within reason. That’s much easier said than done, but it should still nevertheless make for a compelling Week 13 finale.