The Steelers and Bengals square off in Week 15, and it is time to look at how they will counter the Steelers on both offense and defense.
These two teams know a lot about one another, considering they play each other twice a season as AFC North division rivals.
With that said, I reached out to Cincy Jungle contributor Patrick Judis and asked him a series of questions about the upcoming game. He was more than generous to provide answers to these questions, and in this article I asked him how Cincinnati planned to counter the Steelers in Week 15?
How will Cincinnati and third string quarterback Ryan Finley try to move the ball against the stout Steelers defense, and how will Jessie Bates and company try to slow down Ben Roethlisberger and JuJu Smith-Schuster?
Check out his answers below, and be sure to follow Cincy Jungle for the latest news and notes from the other side of the fence leading up to the game at 8:15p.m. ET.
When Cincinnati has the ball, how will they try to move the ball?
By getting on their knees and praying probably. In all seriousness, the offensive side of the ball has been a real issue, and even when they were able to move the ball against a bad Cowboys defense last week, this Cincinnati team only managed seven points on the day.
Whether it is Brandon Allen or Ryan Finley at quarterback, the deep ball is practically nonexistent. Short passes have been their most consistent way of moving the ball, but they don’t hit on them frequently enough for it to be a consistent enough offense to actually put points on the board.
The running game was slightly improved last week when they were still in the game, but that can be chalked more up to Dallas’ poor rushing defense.
When the Steelers have the ball, how will the Cincinnati defense attempt to stop Ben Roethlisberger and company?
The thing that is really unfortunate is this Bengals defense has all the makings of a solid unit. Safety Jessie Bates has easily become one of the best in the NFL and the other corners are incredibly solid as well. The linebackers are mostly young, but they are athletic enough for what you need from linebackers in the NFL.
The thing that prevents the Bengals from really having a defense that can get other teams off the field is their lack of pass rush. Outside of Carl Lawson, no one has been able to provide consistent pressure on the quarterback. This leads to plays where the quarterback either sits in the pocket for what seems like forever, or he is able to easily escape to extend plays.
I don’t care how good some of your defenders are on the backend. If the opposing quarterback consistently has time then someone is going to get open, and Ben Roethlisberger is the king of taking his time.
The best this defense can hope for is to get lucky on a couple of bad Roethlisberger throws.
Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black and gold as they prepare for the Cincinnati Bengals at 8:15 p.m. ET in Week 15.