The most heated rivalry in football resumes on Sunday in Cincinnati. The Steelers will try to continue their four-game winning streak and end the Bengals playoff chances for good. The Bengals come in with a two-game winning streak but need a miracle to run their streak of playoff appearances to six.
Pittsburgh Steelers- Le’veon Bell the Steelers running back has four consecutive 100-yard rushing games and is coming off a career-high 236-yard performance against the Bills. The Steelers offensive line has been one of the most improved in football. If you are the Bengals and concentrate on stopping the Steelers running game too much, then Big Ben and Antonio Brown will get you.
Cincinnati Bengals- The Bengals were a favorite in the AFC this year, then injuries started rearing their ugly head in the preseason. The Bengals lost first round pick William Jackson and fourth round pick, Andrew Billings, add on Tyler Eifert missing the start of the season. The offensive line has been a huge disappointment all year; QB Andy Dalton has played well under duress, and WR Tyler Boyd is starting to come into his own.
Keys to the game
Bengals WR Tyler Boyd vs. Steelers CB William Gay. Boyd has developed into an excellent slot receiver and has seemed to pick his level of play up since A.J.Green went down with a hamstring injury. Gay will draw the job od covering Boyd in the slot as must limit Boyd’s effectiveness on third down.
Bengals Defensive Ends and Outside Linebackers vs. Le’Veon Bell. Slowing down Bell has to be a priority for the Bengals, The problem is the Bengals will be weak on the edges, Bengals defensive ends are known for not containing, and Karlos Dansby and Vinny Rey are not the most athletic linebackers in the league.
Bengals offensive line vs.Steelers defensive line. The Bengals line has been a weakness all year, and they must give Dalton some time and Hill room to run if they don’t this could get ugly.
This is a rivalry game, and I think that the Bengals offense can have enough success to keep the game close. In the end, I expect Bell to run for 200 and dominate the Bengals defense. Steelers 34 Bengals 24.