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NFL Week 4 Primer: Cincinnati Bengals (0-3) at Pittsburgh Steelers (0-3)

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Every thing you need to know for when the Bengals take on the Steelers during Monday Night Football for the rights to get out of the basement of the AFC North.

Cincinnati Bengals v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

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).

SB Nation Steelers’ site: Behind the Steel Curtain

Weather: Mid 70’s, mostly cloudy [NFL weather]

Odds: Bengals, +8.5 [Odds Shark]

Bengals Notes

  • 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.

Steelers notes

  • 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

Date Visitor Home Result
Date Visitor Home Result
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