NFL Game Previews: Steelers-Bengals Matchup

NFL Game Previews: Steelers-Bengals Matchup

This article is part of our NFL Game Previews series.

Pittsburgh at Cincinnati (+13), o/u 40.5 – Monday, 8:15 p.m. EST

Whoops. A couple weeks ago, the Steelers were undefeated and headed for a first-round bye. Now, they could be headed for a wild-card matchup with a dangerous opponent like the Dolphins or Ravens. There are plenty of excuses to be made for the first loss, but Pittsburgh simply got outplayed in Buffalo last week. The lack of a consistent running game and a reluctance to stretch the field in the passing game (Ben Roethlisberger is 29th in the league in intended air yards per attempt, between Andy Dalton and Teddy Bridgewater) has made the offense too predictable, and while the defense remains very good, they can't carry the load alone. Fortunately, a date with the Bengals is basically a padded practice at this point, so maybe Mike Tomlin can figure out a solution. Cincy actually made the Dallas defense look good last week, managing to lose fumbles on its first three possessions of the game to dig a hole Brandon Allen couldn't climb out of. Neither of the Joes (Burrow or Mixon) are walking, or even limping, back through that door any time soon, and now even Allen is sidelined, so the offense is in no better shape than the defense. This should all work out in the end — with the Jets and Jags almost certain to take QBs first and second in next year's draft, the Bengals will happily snap up Penei Sewell to anchor

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Erik Siegrist
Erik Siegrist is an FSWA award-winning columnist who covers all four major North American sports (that means the NHL, not NASCAR) and whose beat extends back to the days when the Nationals were the Expos and the Thunder were the Sonics. He was the inaugural champion of Rotowire's Staff Keeper baseball league. His work has also appeared at Baseball Prospectus.
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