This Week VS Last Week

Last Week the Bengals dropped their ninth in a row at home against the New Orleans Saints in a nail biter in which they, once again, beat themselves. This time, the fatal self-inflicted blow came in the form of Pat Sims' neutral zone infraction penalty on a Saints fourth down play. Same old same old.

This Week the Bengals take on the second place team in the AFC and their division rivals, the 9-3 Pittsburgh Steelers. At their place. It should be a blast. That's sarcasm.

How do the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Super Bowl XLIII winners, stack up against the Bengals compared to how the New Orleans Saints, the Super Bowl XLIV winners, did?

Ben Roethlisberger VS Drew Brees:

 

Both of these guys are working on their Hall of Fame resumes. Twenty percent of Roethlisberer's fingers are covered in Super Bowl rings. He's also the youngest Super Bowl winning quarterback NFL history. Drew Brees has a Super Bowl ring of his own and leads one of the nations best passing offenses. Who wins?

Winner: Draw

I was going to say Brees because he's a better passer but then I was going to say Roethlisberger because he's tougher. I mean did you see the play against the Ravens when Terrell Suggs tried to sack him and Roethlisberger pushed him away, scrambled towards the sideline and flipped the ball out of bounds. That play could be one of the biggest reasons that the Steelers are going to win the division and not the Ravens.

What the Bengals need to do:

First of all, Roethlisberger is one of the, if not the, hardest people quarterbacks in the NFL to sack. He's big and he's strong. Roethlisberger has a nasty habit of standing in the pocket for a really long time, waiting for somebody to get open. So, if one of the Bengals defensive players get their hands on him, they need to make sure they can bring him to the ground. Other than that the Bengals just need to do what good defenses do - pressure the quarterback and make sure they stick with the receivers.

Steelers Running Game VS Saints Running Game:

The Steelers have Rashard Mendenhall  ran for 99 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries when they played the Bengals earlier this season. However, The Saints rookie running back Chris Ivory shredded the Bengals defense last week on 15 carries for 117 yards and two touchdowns. Who's better?

Winner: Steelers Running Game

I'm picking the Steelers on default. The Saints are more known for their passing attack. The Steelers have the No. 10 ranked rushing attack in the NFL compared to the Saints' No. 25 ranked rushing attack.

What the Bengals need to do:

What would be great is if the Bengals could get ahead by a couple touchdowns and force the Steelers offense to throw the ball to play catch-up but I'm not holding my breath. What I would really like though is for the Bengals to stop Mendenhall from having any big running plays, specifically runs of 20 yards or more. If they can do that, they'll avoid becoming the first team in NFL history to allow a running play of 20 yards or more in 13 games in a row. Once again, I'm not holding my breath.

Steelers Receivers VS Saints Receivers:

The Saints receivers are famous for disappointing fantasy owners everywhere because there is no clear No. 1 receiver. Drew Brees spreads the ball around the field to everybody equally. The Steelers, on the other hand, likely shipped their most talented receiver, Santonio Holmes, off to the New York Jets in the off season. They're left with Hines Ward, Mike Wallace and Antwaan Randle El as their top three receivers.

Winner: Saints Receivers

The Saints have the third best passing attack in the NFL. The Steelers aren't in the top 15.

What the Bengals need to do:

Well, if the Steelers are up by a few scores, it's likely that they'll stop throwing the ball and just stick to the running game in an attempt to run the clock out, so there's that. Other than that, the replacement players in the Bengals secondary need to stick to the Steelers receivers tightly and the Bengals defensive line needs to put some pressure on Roethlisberger. It would also be nice to see Mike Zimmer send his linebackers after the quarterback on every obvious passing down.

Steelers Defense VS Saints Defense:

The Steelers defense is and has been one of the best in the NFL for a long, long time.

Winner: Steelers Defense

What the Bengals need to do:

Play like they did in the second half against the Saints for an entire game, not just one half. If they could put it all together against one team, I would love it to be against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

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