The Steelers head to Cincinnati to take on a Bengals that is pretty much just playing the spoiler role to end the season.
The Pittsburgh Steelers are in a dog fight with the Baltimore Ravens as usual for the AFC North. With the Steelers owning a one game lead in the division over the Ravens, Pittsburgh has their own destiny in their hands, with an outside chance of getting that first round bye if they get lucky.
For the Steelers to get the win in Cincinnati on Sunday, it is the same as usual when it comes to offense. The big three are the main guys as usual with Ben Roethlisberger, Le’Veon Bell, and Antonio Brown all having their own cases of being the most important player to this team. My preference is Bell of the three, only because of the game being on the road.
The road Roethlisberger is not as safe as the home version and we have the stats to prove it. Bell on the other hand has been a beast in both the passing game along with the ground game, he is the true definition of a work horse running back. Last week Bell had an unbelievable amount of work against the Cleveland Browns. He carried the ball 38 times for 236 yards and three scores, while catching four passes for 62 yards thru the air. That is 42 touches and over 300 total yards, now he likely won’t touch the same numbers against the Bengals, but it’s not out of the ordinary to see him hit 200+ total yards and 30-32 touches.
On defense, the Steelers won’t have to see the Bengals top target in A.J. Green as he is still suffering his hamstring injury. That puts all the workload on tight end Tyler Eifert and running back Jeremy Hill, of the two, I think Hill is the one you want to key in on as he will see the ball a good 20-25 times if the Bengals are going to pull off the upset. That is going to be a tall order for this defense in Pittsburgh as they are one of the worst units against the ground in 2016.
The Steelers just have too many options to go with on offense and seem to be a better defensive unit this year. As much as the Bengals would love to play spoiler to the Steelers late this season, they just don’t have the fire power to get it done. Pittsburgh should win an old fashion slugfest on Sunday night with the weather expected to be in the 20’s with some wind to make it that much colder on the field.
Prediction: Pittsburgh 17 over Cincinnati 13!