Bengals @ Steelers Preview


Nick Johnson

It’s that time of year again! This Sunday the Bengals are headed on up to Pittsburgh to take on Ben Rothlisburger and the 1-1 Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers got beat up by the Raiders in week 2 after a shocking upset over the Bills in Buffalo in week 1. The Bengals are coming off of a rough loss themselves after getting mauled by the Bears at Soldier Field this past Sunday. This should be a pretty interesting AFC North matchup with lots to watch for.


Najee Harris and the Pittsburgh Run Game

The Pittsburgh Steelers have always been known for their ability to run the football really well, and this offseason they added to their offense by drafting Alabama running back Najee Harris. Najee shows a lot of promise but overall has had a pretty lackluster first two weeks; he has a total of 83 yards and no touchdowns. With the way, this defensive line has been performing I find it hard to believe that Harris will go off, but it is the Bengals so anything is possible. As for the Bengals running game, it’s pretty hard to tell how Joe Mixon is going to do this week considering the Steelers have a great defensive line but are missing key pieces.


Key Injuries

Last week the Steelers lost a key piece to their defense in TJ Watt. TJ suffered a groin injury although it doesn’t seem to be too serious. They also lost Tyson Alualu (DE) with an ankle fracture and Dionte Johnson (WR) who hurt his knee. Then, it was revealed that Ben Roholisburger had a left pec injury that wouldn’t keep him out of the game, but it would affect preparation. Then, on the other hand, the Bengals remained fairly injury-free. Other than the usual suspects, such as Trey Waynes and Ricardo Allen, the Bengals are without Xavier Su’a Filo after a leg injury against the Bears. This provides an opportunity for Jackson Carman, the Bengal’s second-round pick, to get in some much-needed in-game reps. However, you probably don’t want your first reps to come against a top-tier Steelers defensive line.


A Must Win Game For Cincinnati

The Steelers can be a tough team to have in your division at times, but right now is a good time to capitalize. With the entire AFC North currently sitting at 1-1, a win here would go a long way. Also, in week 5, Cincinnati will be taking on the Packers which could be a rough game; ideally, we would head into that game 3-1. Not to mention that the Steelers aren’t exactly hot right now after squeaking out a win against a struggling Bills team in week one and getting smacked around by the Raiders in week 2. If Joe Mixon can establish a run game and both lines can hold strong this on paper seems like a fairly winnable game for the Bengals.



This game needs to be a bounceback game for the Bengals. Division games can be pretty tough and competitive, so a win here would go a long way. This game looks like it could go either way, which means I am going to stick to picking the Cincinnati Bengals to win with a final score of 24-17. I think Mixon might struggle, but I see Burrow having a great game after struggling against the Bears on Sunday. I predict Burrow will have north of 200 yards and 2 touchdowns. As for Mixon, I see him struggling with the run game, but I would love to see him get more involved as a receiver this week. Overall look for a fun competitive game. Let’s hope the Bengals can march into Heinz Field and squash those squeelers.