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Monday, September 16, 2013

Who I like, Cincinnati version

This is a tough spot for the Steelers, who will be breaking in a couple of new starters Monday night against Cincinnati.

The Bengals, like the Steelers, lost on opening weekend and don't want to fall to 0-2. Since 1990, just 12 teams have made the postseason after starting 0-2.

Fernando Velasco will get the start at center, while Kion Wilson will be at inside linebacker. In addition, rookie Jarvis Jones will start at outside linebacker, though he'll still share time with Jason Worilds.

The Steelers will also be relying on William Gay at corner with Cortez Allen out. That will mean Shamarko Thomas will be the nickel back.

Stopping A.J. Green will be the main focus of the defense and Ike Taylor will likely shadow him all over the field. But he will need help as well.

The Bengals are going to be tough to beat at home in a Monday night game. And despite what he's said, James Harrison is going to be fired up to play against his old team.

Though the Bengals are just 9-20 on Monday nights, I like Cincinnati to win this one, 21-17.

There will be some improvement from the Pittsburgh offense, which struggled mightily against Tennessee last week.

I attribute a lot of last week's issues to the offensive line seeing its leader go down on the opening drive of the game. I don't think they ever recovered from that.

They'll be better this week.


10 comments:

marc said...

hard to picture the offense being much better. the bengals defense doesn't need to over-commit to stop the run and the only real receiving threat is Brown. the steelers offense might score 10 points.

a.j. green is a beast. the steelers will need to double him. the bengal's two TE's should do well this game. ultimately, with no offensive help, the steeler's defense will get worn down.

the only way the steelers win this game is if they have special teams or defensive touchdowns.

24-10, bengals.

Dale Lolley said...

The Bengals don't need to commit to stopping the run?
I disagree. Dwyer went for 122 against them last season.

Greg Mercer said...

Collectively, our WRs have to be the smallest in the league. It's no wonder we can't score consistently in the Red Zone.

Anonymous said...

willie gay as a starting corner is all that needs to be said. very little chance to win with that scenario

marc said...

dale,
i'm taking into consideration the state of the o-line when anticipating the performance of the running game. i don't think they will need to bring an extra guy in the box to stop the steeler's running game. i expect the bengal's d-line to win the battle of the trenches which will force the steelers to throw more often and incur more 3rd and long plays.

dwyer? you mean the guy the steeler's organziation deemed not fit to be on the roster along with 31 other nfl football teams? don't get me wrong...i hope he (or anyone) runs for 100+ yards...but i just don't see them coming even close.

right now the steelers just don't have any type of multi-dimensional threat. until they do, defenses will bottle them up.

Anonymous said...

Kay sa-srah, what wil be , will be

Dale Lolley said...

Re-watching last week's game, there were running lanes there. Redman didn't see or missed them, showing that the two carries he got in the preseason weren't enough.
He'll be better this week.

Robbie said...

The Bengals should absolutely win the game, but I have a funny feeling the Steelers will pull it out just to give us some false hope for the season.

Then again, this team doesn't seem to have the heart, pride, leadership or talent of past editions, so maybe they'll just fold if they fall behind early.

If it's true they tapped out after Pouncey's injury, then that's a massive indictment of their mental toughness.

Steve said...

Well, if the Steelers do lose and you want to keep an optimistic view of things, two of those 0-2 teams that made the playoffs were Steeler teams (1993 and 2002).

Steve said...

And of course, though it was a year before before the starting date given, there's the '89 team. Coming off the worst season since Noll's first with the Steelers, they were destroyed by the Browns and Bengals by a combined 92-10 in the first two games and ended up two points away from the AFC title game.