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5 Keys to Victory for Steelers against Bengals



Matchup: Cincinnati Bengals (2-5) +7.5 @ Pittsburgh Steelers (8-0)


Time and place: 11/15 at 4:25 @ Heinz Field


Tidbit: The Steelers have won their last 10 games against the Bengals


KEY #1: Come out hot


Although the Steelers were able to score a first-drive touchdown a few weeks ago against Tennessee, they were slow out of the gates again the last two weeks, and didn't get on the board against the Cowboys until deep in the second quarter. If Pittsburgh keeps taking a while to get going, it's eventually going to cost them.


The good news is that the majority of the Steelers' early-game struggles are easily fixable. This pass winds up incomplete because Diontae Johnson slips out of his break.

And Chase Claypool dropped this touchdown pass on 3rd down after taking the top off the secondary.

Attention to detail matters. The Steelers can't afford a sloppy start against Joe Burrow and a competitive Bengals team.


KEY #2: Bring back the jet


The Steelers had virtually no success rushing against one of the worst run defenses in the NFL last week and much of that is because of the predictability of the offense. Pittsburgh often ran on first down and while they made use of jet motion, they mostly did so in an attempt to move the eyes of the second level, and haven't given the ball to the receiver enough in recent weeks to force defenses to respect the jet.


Watch how quickly Demarcus Lawrence and Leighton Vander Esch are able deduce that the ball is being handed to Conner despite the jet motion.

On the contrary, look at the flow of the defense on this play. Aside from Vander Esch, who makes a great tackle to save a big play, Dallas is locked in on Conner.

Not only do these jet plays have a high rate of success, but they're crucial in keeping the defense honest and softening up the second level in the run game. Look for the Steelers to use similar concepts against the Bengals.


KEY #3: Disrupt timing and make plays on the ball