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Friday, November 11, 2011

Who I like, Cincinnati version

I have to admit, I'm surprised at how well the Bengals are playing this season. The defense, which has been solid the past couple of years, is again playing well - not having allowed more than 20 points in a game - and the offense isn't making the big mistake.

That's really saying something considering the Bengals have started rookie Andy Dalton at QB all season.

But the Bengals have also not faced a quarterback as good as Ben Roethlisberger this season, beating the likes of Colt McCoy, Curtis Painter, etc.

Yes, they beat the Buffalo Bills, their only quality win this season, but that was coming off a game in which the Bills won their Super Bowl, having knocked off New England for the first time in a decade the week before.

The same could be said of the Steelers this season. They have only beaten one quality opponent - New England.

But, the Steelers are a proven commodity, much more so than the Bengals.

And something tells me the rookie QB isn't quite ready for what he's going to see Sunday.

How do I know this?

When asked this week if the city is starting to buzz about how well the Bengals are playing Dalton replied that it must be because the game is a sellout, the first one for the Bengals this season.

What Dalton didn't realize is that it's a sellout because Paul Brown Stadium will be filled to the rim with Steelers fans.

Take the Steelers, 24-17


marc said...

not sure what to expect from the bengals.

comparing common opponents (jags, colts, seahawks, titans) both teams are 4-0. the bengals outscored them 115-66 versus 102-50 for the steelers.

the bengals have trailed at half 4 times, but are 3-1 in those games. they have outscored their opponents 126-59 in the second half this season. nice coaching.

the steelers have trailed at half 4 times, but are 1-3 in those games. the steelers have been outscored 86-84 in the second half this season.

interestingly, the steelers are outscoring their opponents 112-41 in the first half this season. that's impressive, but they need to keep it going in the second half.

the steelers have been shutout for a half 3 times this season (none for the bengals by the way) which was against the 3 best defenses they've played, imo (ravens, texans, jags).

if the bengals defense is for real, i expect the steelers to end the first half with a lead and hold on late. i don't see a rookie QB pulling it out against the steelers, yet.

steelers win 17-13.

Anonymous said...

I think it's gonna be one of those ugly games we are so accustomed to. It's going to come down to turnovers and which QB can limit those. Thankfully, we don't have a rookie QB, but it seems like every game this year that Ben has a big game he counters with a stupid, stupid INT. I think we need to see the return of the running game in this one but I am slowly losing confidence in Mendenhall as the season progresses.

marc said...

i thought mendy ran hard and well against the ravens, they just didn't use him that much.

Anonymous said...

If we don't get a couple turnovers on them, a close fight, Ben pulls it out in the end... 19-17. We need the bye. (However if we get the turnovers we are owed by logic, we win 74-10.)

Dale Lolley said...

Mendenhall ran the ball well against Baltimore. But they felt better about throwing against the Ravens. In fact, they feel better throwing the ball against pretty much everyone with the receivers they have.

NFL Stats Blog said...

I don't think it will be Ben' best game, but I think the Steelers are too physical to lose this one.

KT said...

All interesting analysis and I agree, although Mike Zimmmer really shut down Ben the last time he faced a healthy Bengal defense.

But speaking of defense, I don't know the exact numbers, but Dick LeBeau is something like 7-1 vs. rookie quarterbacks.

Dale Lolley said...

Actually, it's 12-1. I had it in a story earlier this week. And the only loss was to Troy Smith in a regular season finale in which Roethlisberger, Polamalu and others sat out.

Patrick said...

Steelers 23-13

Anonymous said...

nice prediction dale!

Nate said...

Nailed it.

Dale Lolley said...

Would have had it two weeks in a row if not for the last-season Baltimore TD