Friday, December 02, 2011

Who I like, Cincinnati version II

It's rare that two division opponents meet so soon after playing just a couple of weeks before, but that is what faces the Steelers and Bengals this week.

The Bengals have gone 1-1 since losing to the Steelers Nov. 13, while the Steelers have played just once, winning last week in Kansas City, 13-9, coming off their bye.

The Bengals suffered a big loss in the previous meeting, a 24-17 Pittsburgh victory in Cincinnati, as cornerback Leon Hall was lost for the season to an Achilles' tendon injury.

That's huge considering Hall is their best cover corner.

Against the Steelers, that's a considerable loss. While Baltimore and Cleveland, Cincinnati's past two opponents, aren't built to exploit the loss of Hall, the Steelers are.

Pittsburgh is getting healthy as well, as linebacker LaMarr Woodley will make his return after sitting out three games with a hamstring injury.

The Steelers are 6 1/2-point favorites and that's a pretty big spread against a solid Cincinnati club.

I like the Steelers to win, but the Bengals to cover in a 24-20 Pittsburgh victory.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

BOOOOOOOO!

~SBK

P.S. 20-10, Ben's off target, but Lebeau's boys pick up the slack.

Anonymous said...

Dale, How would you characterize the play of Casey Hampton this year? The Steelers are admittedly blitzing less, but I remember Hampton and Aaron Smith being able to collapse the pocket from up the middle. Is this something that Ziggy and an older version of Hampton aren't doing as well?

Henry said...

@anonymous

Hampton isn't playing well at all this yr. I want to see more of mclendon.

with Hall out(i think Nate Clements is banged up too) and Dunlap possibly not playing, this is a game where our O needs to put up or shut up.

This is a wounded Bengals team walking in and The Steelers should step on their throat.

Anonymous said...

The injuries in the Bengals' secondary actually set the Steelers up nicely. On paper. And if the O-line can hold its own against the Bengals' pass rush.

On D, can we please get a pass rush and some sacks? Woodley, hopefully.

I want to say we're going to shred them through the air but I think it will be decided by a field goal, hopefully by Suisham. 20-17? Overtime?

Dale Lolley said...

It may surprise some on this board that Suisham has the highest field goal percentage in Steelers history.

As for Hampton, he's played OK. Not great by any stretch. He's obviously slowing down, which is something that can happen quickly for a man his size.

Robert K said...

I imagine if there was one player who needed a long training camp to get in shape it was Hampton. Age is obviously a bigger factor though.

NT is a big draft need.

Henry said...

Dale, is that statistic on Suisham for his career overall or his career as a Steeler?

KT said...

Wow. That is an interesting Stat on Suisham.

As for Hampton, I agree. Although its a different position, it was amazing to see how quickly Levon Kirkland slowed down.

bruinmann77 said...

Dale is Mclendon his replacement or will the look into the draft ?

Anonymous said...

I think Hampton's inability to push the pocket has really hurt the Steelers on non-blitz plays

Patrick said...

I'll go Steelers 20, Cinci 17.

The Steelers offense just doesn't get me excited with how they manage to screw up drives and I don't think it changes in a week. Cinci's only weapon to worry about is AJ Green. Maybe that opens up Gresham and/or Benson but I'm confident the D does what it needs to.

Dale Lolley said...

That's Suisham's mark as a Steelers kicker. Remember, he only missed one regular season kick last year.

Suisham is 32 of 38 in the regular season for the Steelers, an 84 percent success rate.


As for McLendon and the future, that depends on the draft. He'll be given first shot, but if they have a big nose tackle-type staring them in the face early in the draft, you can be sure they'll take him.