Pittsburgh Steelers (2-2-1) at Cincinnati Bengals (4-1)
Its Pittsburgh week, the Bengals survived the trap game and the weekend we wait for twice a year is now upon us. In last Sunday’s game against the Dolphins we saw the Bengals offense struggle for the first time this year. On the flip side we saw the defense step up and win us the game, coming away with two defensive scores and three takeaways. While there is much to improve on with special teams, the Bengals defense was dominate. They held the Dolphins offense to just 10 points. It was a very promising showing heading into this week.
This week will be my first time not attending a home game for the Bengals this year (I was also at Indianapolis which is basically a home game). I debated long and hard about it and decided to save some money and stay home and watch. The Steelers games can get rough with the opposing fans. It seemed like it would be more comfortable to watch in the safety of my own home.
Matchups to watch for…
William Jackson III vs. Antonio Brown – Last year Jackson was able to shut Brown down, dominating him through two games. This year Jackson has taken a small step back in terms of how “shutdown” he has been. However, last week both Jackson and Dre Kirkpatrick did not allow the Dolphins to complete anything down field. The Bengals corners may have found their groove at the perfect time. William Jackson will once again look to shut down Brown and frustrate this offense.
The Bengals Defensive Line vs. Big Ben – Earlier in the week, Carlos Dunlap was on record calling Big Ben a “300 pound quarterback”. Ben was also in the news this week talking about how dirty this matchup can be. It will be very interesting to see how the Bengals defensive line handles taking down a big quarterback like Ben with the new NFL rules. Ben is very good at avoiding sacks, and the new rules may make this ever harder to do.
Vontaze Burfict vs. JuJu Smith-Schuster – I am sure I do not need to remind anyone why this is a matchup to watch. JuJu laid a hit on Burfict last year that ended his season. It will be very interesting to see what happens when these two meet on the field and what it sparks between teammates on the field as well. This matchup and how both players handle it, could affect the outcome of this game.
My Prediction: All games are must wins, but this one is particularly important. The Bengals will have a tough time winning the North if they cannot beat Pittsburgh at least once. They will be at home with the crowd behind them, making this the easier of the two Steelers games. The Steelers have been full of drama this year off the field while the Bengals have kept quiet and gone to work. I think this is a different Bengals team than in years passed. I believe they have the talent and mindset to go into this game and play smart and escape with a win. My prediction is a late field goal by Bullock to put the Bengals up for the win.
My Prediction: Bengals 27 Steelers 24
My Bengals Predictions on the year: 3-2
Be sure to follow me on twitter @Pierson242FF, and be sure to tweet at me with any Bengals related questions or comments!
Game: Pittsburgh Steelers (2-2-1) at Cincinnati Bengals (4-1)
Date/Time: October 14, 2018 at 1:00 p.m. EST
Location: Paul Brown Stadium
Uniforms: Black Jersey with Black Pants
Last Matchup: 12/04/17 – Bengals 20 Steelers 23
Odds: Bengals, -2