Let’s get right to it, shall we? The Cincinnati Bengals beat the Pittsburgh Steelers in both games last season. The Bengals also won the game before that in 2020, so they’re going for four wins in a row vs the Steelers this Sunday. Those two games last season weren’t close either. With the Bengals taking the game in Pittsburgh 24-10, and the game in Cincinnati 41-10. So, as hungry as the Bengals may be after losing Super Bowl LVI to the Los Angeles Rams… the Steelers are ravenous. That said, we’ll see if the hungry dog runs faster at 1 pm on Sunday.
Now that I have your appetite going, let’s get into the Steeler’s ways to win.
#1 T.J. WATT TAKEOVER
In my opinion, there are only three defensive players in the NFL right now that can literally takeover a game. Those are Aaron Donald, Myles Garrett, and T.J. Watt. Aaron Donald did it to the Bengals in the Super Bowl where he recorded 2.0 sacks and got a total of 3 hits in on Joe Burrow. In 9 career games vs Cincinnati, the reigning defensive player of the year T.J. Watt has 7.5 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, and 1 fumble recovery. Those insane numbers persisting could be the key Sunday for the Steelers to get the win.
#2 START FAST
Too often last season the Steelers offense came out flat to start games. This coming out of the gate slow meant that the defense had to keep coming back on the field. A quick score, even if it were a field goal would take a lot of pressure off the new quarterback Mitch Trubisky. Plus, if you want T.J. Watt to be able to take over this game, then he has to be feeling fresh. Trubisky and the first team offense showed during the the preseason that they are capable of striking fast. This happened during an excellent opening drive vs the Seattle Seahawks.
#3 CONTROL TIME OF POSSESSION
If a quick score doesn’t come, Pittsburgh’s offense still must find a way to stay on the field during their drives. Feeding Najee Harris whether it be on the ground or through the air will be one key to this, but not all. The struggling offensive line is no secret for the Steelers. Trubisky will most likely be scrambling out of the pocket a ton week 1, which is a luxury that the Steelers haven’t had with a quarterback for 15 years (No offense Big Ben). If the Steelers are going to win against the Bengals, they need to control the clock.