It is the battle of Goliaths we all expected to see on Monday Night Football this week.
Okay, maybe it isn’t as compelling as the schedule makers thought it’d be when they put this together. This is a battle of winless teams that are hoping to get their first victory of the season.
The Bengals keep finding new innovative ways to lose. We saw the closely fought Week 1 battle, then completely get run off the field in Week 2, and last week, we saw them have a spirited comeback fall just short.
This is a very different Steelers team than Bengals fans have become accustomed to. There is no Ben Roethlisberger, Le’Veon Bell or Antonio Brown. Instead, we will see quarterback Mason Rudolph leading a few familiar faces in JuJu Smith-Schuster and running back James Conner. Last week, they looked like they were still trying to find their groove against the 49ers, and the Bengals biggest task will be to make sure they don’t catch fire against them.
Cincinnati’s offense will have to look out for a Pittsburgh defense that was extremely opportunistic last week (forcing five turnovers). We saw Joe Mixon catch a little fire last week, and you better believe they need this running game to get going if they have any hopes of getting their first win after looking helpless in the first half of their game against the Bills.
This is Zac Taylor’s first opportunity as a head coach to face the Steelers and coach in a primetime game. He could win a lot of brownie points with fans by getting his first win against Pittsburgh on Monday Night Football. (Note: those brownie points do not extend to the tanking crowd.)
Everything you need to know for when the Bengals take on the Steelers:
Game: Cincinnati Bengals (0-3) at Pittsburgh Steelers (0-3)
Date/Time: Sep. 30th, 2019 at 8:15 p.m. EST
Location: Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Series Leader: The Steelers lead the series 64-35
Streak: The Steelers have won the past eight meetings
Coaches vs. Opponent: Zac Taylor: 0-0. Mike Tomlin (19-5)
TV Broadcast: ESPN broadcast with Joe Tessitore (play-by-play), Booger McFarland (analyst) and Lisa Salters (sideline analyst). In the Cincinnati market, the ESPN broadcast also will be simulcast on WLWT-TV (Channel 5).
Radio Broadcast: The game will air on the Bengals Radio Network, led by Cincinnati flagship stations WLW-AM (700), WCKY-AM (ESPN 1530; all sports) and WEBN-FM (102.7). Broadcasters are Dan Hoard (play-by-play) and Dave Lapham (analyst).
The game also will air nationally on Westwood One Radio. Broadcasters are Kevin Harlan (play-by-play), Kurt Warner (analyst) and Ryan Harris (sideline reporter).
Weather: Mid 70’s, mostly cloudy [NFL weather]
Odds: Bengals, +8.5 [Odds Shark]
- Quarterback Andy Dalton passed for 249 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions last week. He also added a rushing touchdown. He aims for his fourth in a row against the Steelers with at least two passing touchdowns. He ranks second in the league with 978 passing yards in 2019.
- Running back Joe Mixon had a season-high 95 scrimmage yards (61 rushing and 34 receiving) and second career receiving touchdown in Week 3. He had 105 rushing yards in his last meeting with the Steelers. He has at least 100 scrimmage yards in two of his past three games against the AFC North.
- Wide receiver Tyler Boyd aims for his fourth in a row with at least six catches and 60 receiving yards. He had seven catches and two touchdowns in his last game against Pittsburgh (10/14/18). He has touchdown catches in four of his past five games against the AFC North. Wide receiver John Ross has at least 110 receiving yards and a touchdown in two of his past three games. He ranks third in the league in receiving yards (292). Wide receiver Auden Tate had career highs in catches (six) and receiving yards (88) last week. Tight end Tyler Eifert aims for his third in a row on the road against the AFC North with a touchdown catch.
- Defensive tackle Geno Atkins had a sack last week. Since entering the league in 2010, Atkins (72) and defensive end Carlos Dunlap (73.5) are the only pair of teammates each with at least 70 sacks. Cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick had six tackles and a pass defended last week. He aims for his seventh in a row against Pittsburgh with a pass defended. Cornerback William Jackson aims for his third game in a row with a pass deflection. Cornerback Darius Phillips had his first career interception last week. Safety Shawn Williams led the team with nine tackles last week. Safety Jessie Bates had two passes defended the last time he faced the Steelers.
- Quarterback Mason Rudolph passed for 174 yards, two touchdowns, an interception with an 81.4 passer rating last week in his first career start.
- Running back James Conner had 223 scrimmage yards (111.5 per game) and two rushing touchdowns in two games against the Bengals last season. He has rushing touchdowns in five of his past six home games.
- Wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster had a receiving touchdown and a team-high 81 receiving yards last week. He aims for fourth in a row with at least 75 receiving yards. He had a touchdown catch in the last meeting with Cincinnati. Rookie wide receiver Diontae Johnson had three catches for 52 yards and his first career touchdown in Week 3. Wide receiver James Washington had 64 receiving yards in his last meeting with the Bengals.
- Rookie linebacker Devin Bush led the team with 11 tackles and two fumble recoveries in Week 3. He leads all rookies with 29 tackles and leads all players with three fumble recoveries this season. Linebacker T.J. Watt had an interception and fumble recovery last week. He has a sack in four of his past six games. Since entering the league in 2017, Watt is one of three players with at least 20 sacks (21) and two interceptions. Defensive end Stephon Tuitt had seven tackles and a sack last week. He has three sacks in his past two games at home. Safety Minkah Fitzpatrick had an interception and forced fumble last week in Pittsburgh debut. Safety Terrell Edmunds had 10 tackles in Week 3.
Bengals history against the Steelers
|12/30/2018||Cincinnati Bengals||Pittsburgh Steelers||L|
|10/14/2018||Pittsburgh Steelers||Cincinnati Bengals||L|
|12/04/2017||Pittsburgh Steelers||Cincinnati Bengals||L|
|10/22/2017||Cincinnati Bengals||Pittsburgh Steelers||L|
|12/18/2016||Pittsburgh Steelers||Cincinnati Bengals||L|
|09/18/2016||Cincinnati Bengals||Pittsburgh Steelers||L|
|01/09/2016 *||Pittsburgh Steelers||Cincinnati Bengals||L|
|12/13/2015||Pittsburgh Steelers||Cincinnati Bengals||L|
|11/01/2015||Cincinnati Bengals||Pittsburgh Steelers||W|
|12/28/2014||Cincinnati Bengals||Pittsburgh Steelers||L|
|12/07/2014||Pittsburgh Steelers||Cincinnati Bengals||L|
|12/15/2013||Cincinnati Bengals||Pittsburgh Steelers||L|
|09/16/2013||Pittsburgh Steelers||Cincinnati Bengals||W|
|12/23/2012||Cincinnati Bengals||Pittsburgh Steelers||W|
|10/21/2012||Pittsburgh Steelers||Cincinnati Bengals||L|
|12/04/2011||Cincinnati Bengals||Pittsburgh Steelers||L|
|11/13/2011||Pittsburgh Steelers||Cincinnati Bengals||L|
|12/12/2010||Cincinnati Bengals||Pittsburgh Steelers||L|
|11/08/2010||Pittsburgh Steelers||Cincinnati Bengals||L|
|11/15/2009||Cincinnati Bengals||Pittsburgh Steelers||W|
|09/27/2009||Pittsburgh Steelers||Cincinnati Bengals||W|
|11/20/2008||Cincinnati Bengals||Pittsburgh Steelers||L|
|10/19/2008||Pittsburgh Steelers||Cincinnati Bengals||L|
|12/02/2007||Cincinnati Bengals||Pittsburgh Steelers||L|
|10/28/2007||Pittsburgh Steelers||Cincinnati Bengals||L|
|12/31/2006||Pittsburgh Steelers||Cincinnati Bengals||L/OT|
|09/24/2006||Cincinnati Bengals||Pittsburgh Steelers||W|
|01/08/2006 *||Pittsburgh Steelers||Cincinnati Bengals||L|
|12/04/2005||Cincinnati Bengals||Pittsburgh Steelers||W|
|10/23/2005||Pittsburgh Steelers||Cincinnati Bengals||L|
|11/21/2004||Pittsburgh Steelers||Cincinnati Bengals||L|
|10/03/2004||Cincinnati Bengals||Pittsburgh Steelers||L|
|11/30/2003||Cincinnati Bengals||Pittsburgh Steelers||W|
|09/21/2003||Pittsburgh Steelers||Cincinnati Bengals||L|
|11/24/2002||Cincinnati Bengals||Pittsburgh Steelers||L|
|10/13/2002||Pittsburgh Steelers||Cincinnati Bengals||L|
|12/30/2001||Pittsburgh Steelers||Cincinnati Bengals||W/OT|
|10/07/2001||Cincinnati Bengals||Pittsburgh Steelers||L|
|11/26/2000||Pittsburgh Steelers||Cincinnati Bengals||L|
|10/15/2000||Cincinnati Bengals||Pittsburgh Steelers||L|
|11/28/1999||Cincinnati Bengals||Pittsburgh Steelers||W|
|10/17/1999||Pittsburgh Steelers||Cincinnati Bengals||L|
|12/20/1998||Cincinnati Bengals||Pittsburgh Steelers||W|
|10/11/1998||Pittsburgh Steelers||Cincinnati Bengals||W|
|11/16/1997||Cincinnati Bengals||Pittsburgh Steelers||L|
|10/19/1997||Pittsburgh Steelers||Cincinnati Bengals||L|
|11/10/1996||Pittsburgh Steelers||Cincinnati Bengals||W|
|10/13/1996||Cincinnati Bengals||Pittsburgh Steelers||L|
|11/19/1995||Pittsburgh Steelers||Cincinnati Bengals||L|
|10/19/1995||Cincinnati Bengals||Pittsburgh Steelers||W|
|12/04/1994||Pittsburgh Steelers||Cincinnati Bengals||L|
|10/16/1994||Cincinnati Bengals||Pittsburgh Steelers||L|
|11/07/1993||Pittsburgh Steelers||Cincinnati Bengals||L|
|09/19/1993||Cincinnati Bengals||Pittsburgh Steelers||L|
|11/29/1992||Pittsburgh Steelers||Cincinnati Bengals||L|
|10/19/1992||Cincinnati Bengals||Pittsburgh Steelers||L|
|12/15/1991||Cincinnati Bengals||Pittsburgh Steelers||L|
|11/10/1991||Pittsburgh Steelers||Cincinnati Bengals||L/OT|
|12/02/1990||Cincinnati Bengals||Pittsburgh Steelers||W|
|11/18/1990||Pittsburgh Steelers||Cincinnati Bengals||W|
|10/08/1989||Cincinnati Bengals||Pittsburgh Steelers||W|
|09/17/1989||Pittsburgh Steelers||Cincinnati Bengals||W|
|11/06/1988||Pittsburgh Steelers||Cincinnati Bengals||W|
|09/18/1988||Cincinnati Bengals||Pittsburgh Steelers||W|
|11/22/1987||Pittsburgh Steelers||Cincinnati Bengals||L|
|10/25/1987||Cincinnati Bengals||Pittsburgh Steelers||L|
|10/26/1986||Cincinnati Bengals||Pittsburgh Steelers||L|
|10/13/1986||Pittsburgh Steelers||Cincinnati Bengals||W|
|10/27/1985||Pittsburgh Steelers||Cincinnati Bengals||W|
|09/30/1985||Cincinnati Bengals||Pittsburgh Steelers||W|
|11/11/1984||Pittsburgh Steelers||Cincinnati Bengals||W|
|10/01/1984||Cincinnati Bengals||Pittsburgh Steelers||L|
|12/04/1983||Cincinnati Bengals||Pittsburgh Steelers||W|
|10/10/1983||Pittsburgh Steelers||Cincinnati Bengals||L|
|09/19/1982||Cincinnati Bengals||Pittsburgh Steelers||L/OT|
|12/13/1981||Cincinnati Bengals||Pittsburgh Steelers||W|
|10/18/1981||Pittsburgh Steelers||Cincinnati Bengals||W|
|10/12/1980||Cincinnati Bengals||Pittsburgh Steelers||W|
|09/21/1980||Pittsburgh Steelers||Cincinnati Bengals||W|
|12/02/1979||Cincinnati Bengals||Pittsburgh Steelers||L|
|10/14/1979||Pittsburgh Steelers||Cincinnati Bengals||W|
|11/19/1978||Cincinnati Bengals||Pittsburgh Steelers||L|
|09/17/1978||Pittsburgh Steelers||Cincinnati Bengals||L|
|12/10/1977||Pittsburgh Steelers||Cincinnati Bengals||W|
|10/17/1977||Cincinnati Bengals||Pittsburgh Steelers||L|
|11/28/1976||Pittsburgh Steelers||Cincinnati Bengals||L|
|10/17/1976||Cincinnati Bengals||Pittsburgh Steelers||L|
|12/13/1975||Cincinnati Bengals||Pittsburgh Steelers||L|
|11/02/1975||Pittsburgh Steelers||Cincinnati Bengals||L|
|12/14/1974||Cincinnati Bengals||Pittsburgh Steelers||L|
|11/10/1974||Pittsburgh Steelers||Cincinnati Bengals||W|
|10/28/1973||Cincinnati Bengals||Pittsburgh Steelers||L|
|10/14/1973||Pittsburgh Steelers||Cincinnati Bengals||W|
|11/05/1972||Cincinnati Bengals||Pittsburgh Steelers||L|
|09/24/1972||Pittsburgh Steelers||Cincinnati Bengals||W|
|12/12/1971||Pittsburgh Steelers||Cincinnati Bengals||L|
|09/26/1971||Cincinnati Bengals||Pittsburgh Steelers||L|
|11/22/1970||Pittsburgh Steelers||Cincinnati Bengals||W|
|11/02/1970||Cincinnati Bengals||Pittsburgh Steelers||L|