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Five Keys to a Bengals Victory No. 4: Protect Dalton

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The Steelers have seen Bengals rookie quarterback Andy Dalton in action and they know that they need to respect him and the Bengals passing game, especially now that A.J. Green is healthy, if they want to win. In Week 10, when the Bengals and Steelers met in Cincinnati, the Bengals went through the entire game without allowing the Steelers to sack Dalton once.

There's a good chance that the Steelers will send even more pressure Dalton's way to limit the damage they know he can do with Green to their defense. If that's the case, the Bengals offensive line will need to do a good job at protecting Dalton in the pocket so he can find his open receivers.

If Dalton doesn't have the time to throw, it doesn't matter if Green is healthy or even open because Dalton would be running for his life in the backfield. If the Steelers do bring pressure and the Bengals line is able to stop it and give Dalton enough time to throw, there's a good chance that it means the Steelers secondary is one-on-one against the Bengals defense.

The Steelers' cornerbacks are far away from being the best in the NFL and there's no question that the best player in the secondary is Troy Polamalu. If the Bengals can slow down the Steelers pass rush and give Dalton time to find the Bengals talented receivers on islands with Steelers corners, the Bengals offense could put up quite a few points.

If the Bengals can do that, they have a good chance to beat the Steelers in Pittsburgh on Sunday.