NOVEMBER TO REMEMBER: In 2003, Marvin Lewis' first season as a head coach, the Bengals were 4-1 in November and so far they are 2-0 this month. During that span, the Bengals have outscored their opponents 159-106. Question is: What does that means to today's opponent, the 8-1 Steelers?
TOUGH DEFENSE: Speaking of the Steelers, rookie quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, running backs Duce Staley and Jerome Bettis, along with receivers Hines Ward and Plaxico Burress have garnered much of the attention for the impressive start. Pittsburgh, however, moved past Washington as the NFL's No. 1-ranked defense last weekend, giving up just 257.9 yards a game.
IT'S NEVER OVER: Okay, so the Steelers, Eagles and Patriots are 8-1, and there is tremendous parity everywhere else in the league. That, however, is a good sign. According to the NFL, since the inception of the current playoff structure in 1990, 13 teams with a .500 record or worse after nine games have made the playoffs. Of the 13, four made it to the divisional playoffs and one made it to the championship game. Bucs fans can take heart. In 1996, the Jaguars were 3-6, finished 9-7 and made it to the AFC title game game.
Compiled by Times staff writer Roger Mills with information from other news organizations.