Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers
The Pittsburgh Steelers are coming off a huge win over the Kansas City Chiefs this past Sunday and are now ready to get things rolling in the right direction. They start that mission with a game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Heinz Field. The Bengals come to Pittsburgh on a two-game winning streak and face a must win game if they want to have a realistic chance to win the AFC North. The Steelers have an opportunity to put a nice bit of separation between themselves and their rivals from Ohio.
Here Are The Keys To Victory:
1. The black and gold must dress and play James Harrison. Harrison made a big difference in Kansas City, providing better defense against the run and a timelier pass rush. He leads by example and the Steelers need him out there again on Sunday evening against Cincinnati.
2. I think it’s time to see Martavis Bryant utilized a bit more. He’s asking for a trade, which I certainly don’t agree with but he hasn’t been utilized to the best of his abilities just yet. I expect the Bengals, who sport the number two pass defense in the NFL, to focus on Antonio Brown, which should leave the field open for Bryant. I think he needs to be utilized in the red zone this week and if he is, he’ll make an impact.
3. The offensive line must keep Vontaze Burfict away from Ben Roethlisberger. Obviously, the team never wants Roethlisberger to get hit but they really don’t want to see Burfict get anywhere near Big Ben. Burfict is returning from a five-game suspension and you know that he doesn’t have the ability to play a clean game, he’ll be head hunting all game long.
4. Artie Burns must keep AJ Green in check. Green is an elite receiver, much like Brown, capable of hauling in anything thrown his way. It’s up to Burns to limit the big plays and keep Green in check.
Here are A Few Things To Watch:
1. The emotion of the game is going to be intense and it could get ugly. The teams always seem to get chippy when they play each other and things tend to get out of hand. Who will play the cleaner game? It will make a difference.
2. It seemed to me that Vince Williams played one of his better games against Kansas City. I don’t think there is any coincidence about it; Harrison was in there with him. I do expect Williams to build on that game and turn in a fantastic performance this week vs. the Bengals.
3. I’m waiting for Vance McDonald to become a bigger part of this offense and I suspect this is the week. I believe he and Ben are getting more in tune with each passing week and this is the game we’ll see him break out.
4. How could I not add Le’Veon Bell to this list after last week? How will he run against the Bengals, a team that sees him twice a year? I expect another 120 yards out of Bell this week.
The Steelers are going to be in for a battle against their bitter rival this week but it’s one that I expect them to come out on top of. The game will be close most of the way but the Steelers will finally put the Bengals away late; coming out on top 31-20.