Is the rivalry officially back? We’re going to find out this week.
The Cincinnati Bengals shocked the world last December when they took down the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday Night Football. It was Cincinnati’s first win over Pittsburgh since 2015. They haven’t won two-straight against Pittsburgh since 2013. They’ll get the chance to do so this Sunday at Heinz Field.
It’s an uneasy time to be following the Bengals. A week after they won their third one-score game in Zac Taylor’s three years as head coach, several familiar problems creeped up on them in their 20-17 loss to the Chicago Bears. The offensive line has its limitations, which should be expected, but Taylor’s ability to adapt off of his original game script is still lackluster 34 games into his tenure. It’s what dug his offense into a hole they couldn’t get out of last Sunday.
Conversely, defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo is finally finding success. He’s calling a defense that’s third in the NFL in rushing EPA/play allowed and fourth in overall success rate allowed. Defensive linemen Trey Hendrickson, Larry Ogunjobi, and D.J. Reader all seem to be playing their best football right about now.
Cincinnati’s defense has had the pleasure of facing deficient offensive lines, and that’s what they’ll find in Pittsburgh. What was once a constant strength for the Black and Yellow is now arguably a more questionable mess compared to what the Bengals have up front.
While their blocking is suspect, the Steelers’ defense is certainly not. Pass-rushers T.J. Watt, Cameron Heyward, and Melvin Ingram will provide a huge challenge for Joe Burrow and the Bengals’ offensive line. Burrow barely made it out of Pittsburgh alive last year, and after facing plenty of heat last week, there’s surely to be an emphasis on negating the Steelers’ intimidating pass rush as much as possible.
Whether they do so or not, we’ll be here to provide all the news, updates, and analysis of the Bengals’ Week 3 matchup with the Steelers. You can find all of that in this here story stream!