The Bengals have one of the best defenses in the NFL, but the loss of Leon Hall has made their secondary even more of a weakness than it was. Now, with Nate Clements and Kelly Jennings in the secondary, the Bengals pass defense will struggle more often than not.
That is why the Bengals pass rush needs to be in sixth gear against the Steelers.
However, if the Bengals front seven, especially the defensive line, can keep McCoy uncomfortable, he'll rush his throws and check down a lot. If he makes poor decisions because he's hurried in the game, the Bengals secondary, which has been the defense's weakness throughout the season, could suddenly turn into a strength. They may be able to pick off poorly thrown balls that are a result of defensive pressure on the quarterback.
The Bengals will be without one of their best pass rushers, Carlos Dunlap, but the rest of the defensive line, especially guys like Frostee Rucker, Jonathan Fanene, Michael Johnson and Geno Atkins, is more than capable of making McCoy have a really bad day.
We got to watch the Ravens defense sack 49ers quarterback Alex Smith nine times on Thanksgiving. There's no question that the Bengals front seven has that kind of talent and they're certainly capable of putting up those kinds of numbers.
If the Bengals pass rush stops Colt McCoy from being able to feel comfortable in the pocket, the Bengals will have a much easier road to the win and that's why it's one of the five keys to a Bengals victory over the Browns on Sunday.