The Bengals are a touchdown favorite over the Steelers. Let that sink in. I can't remember the last time that happened or was even possible. No matter what the odds or experts say matters though. You still have to play the game. Here are 5 reasons I think the Bengals have this in the bag.
1. The Bengals pass rush
Yep, we were held without a sack in Chicago. After seeing the Bears play the Vikings this week I really looked to see how good their offensive line was. Once again, they kept Jay Cutler relatively clean. The Steelers line is banged up and has trouble protecting Ben Roethlisberger. This is just what the doctor ordered for the Bengals front seven. They are going to disrupt Ben and not let the passing plays develop.
2. Bengals tight ends
This may be a situation where the Bengals finally have more weapons than Dick LeBeau can scheme for. With Larry Foote out the Steelers are going to be forced to play Jarvis Jones. Imagine the Bengals lining up with a tight end capping both ends of the line. Then imagine a shift where they move from the line out to a slot or wide out position. Then imagine the rookie Jones is tasked with covering either Tyler Eifert or Jermaine Gresham on a pass play. Yeah, I like it too.
3. A.J. Green
A cop out right? Look past the ability of Green and look at the history of the A.J.Green vs. Pittsburgh matchup. In the past the Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor has done an admirable job against Green. This leads me to believe there is some bit of confidence that Taylor can be put on an island with Green. The key is that Dalton is improved and Green is an even bigger talent. If the Steelers leave Green in single coverage, he will probably have a day similar to what he did in Chicago.
4. The Steelers run game
It is a strange thing as a Bengals fan to imagine the Steelers not having the ability to run the ball. How many times did we have to see Jerome Bettis pick up the third an short to crush our hopes? It seems now that the Steelers don't have the personnel or the line to create any noise in the running game. This will allow the Bengals to pressure and disrupt the passing game.
5. The Steelers offense
Last week the Steelers were not able to score on the Titans for the first 58 minutes of the game. If the Bengals want to end this game early than all they need to do is open the offense. The Steelers don't have the talent on offense to get into a high scoring affair and may press if this happens.
Any Given Sunday, Thats Why They Play The Game.
I get it, but all signs point to the Bengals tonight. This is the first time in a long time when the Bengals should dominate a team they are so used to being dominated by.