The Steelers face the Cincinnati Bengals this Sunday at 4:25 PM in a game that is always physical and fiercely fought. The Steelers are coming off a fantastic 19-13 win against Kansas City. The Bengals are 2-3, but have won two in a row and are coming off a bye. How will this game turn out? Lets look at the match-ups.
Bengals Offense vs. Steelers Defense
There were two questions about the Steelers’ defense before last week’s game. The first was, will their pass defense hold up against a good quarterback? The next question was, how will their terrible run defense do against one of the best rushing teams in the league? They answered both of those questions by dominating the Chiefs in the running and passing game. They only allowed 6 total yards the entire first half. They now rank 3rd in total yards allowed and 4th in points allowed.
The Bengals season can be broken in two parts – their disastrous start and then what they did after they fired their offensive coordinator. After the change in coordinator, the Bengals have averaged 25 points and Andy Dalton has looked very effective.
The Steelers key to stopping the Bengals is stopping A.J. Green. Green has had some big games against the Steelers. He’s had 4 games of over 100 yards receiving and 6 touchdown receptions in 11 games. The Steelers secondary is better than previous years and will use Joe Haden to cover him.
Steelers Offense vs. Bengals Defense
It wouldn’t be a week with the Steelers without a controversy. This week’s controversy is a report that Martavis Bryant requested a trade. Bryant has not had a great year so far and is probably thinking he should be getting more snaps and targets. Look for Ben Roethlisberger to try to get him involved early to make him happy.
The Steelers might’ve found a blueprint to success offensively and it’s the same blueprint from last year, which is give the ball to Le’Veon Bell, a lot. Bell rushed for 179 yards last game and was named AFC Offensive player of the week. Bell hasn’t had much success historically against the Bengals, rushing for over 400 yards and 3 touchdowns in 5 games.
The Bengals defense has been strong this year, ranking 14th against the run and 2nd against the pass. The Steelers passing hasn’t been great so look for them to run a lot.
One wildcard in this match-up is Vontaze Burfict. He’s always a thorn in the Steelers’ side, and is always in the middle of a controversy. The Steelers will try to neutralize him.
Steelers – Bengals games are always intense and physical. These two teams hate each other and the Bengals desperately need to win this game if they are to contend for the AFC North title. This should be a good, low scoring game, but Pittsburgh gets the edge since they’re at home.
Steelers 18, Bengals 16