Cincinnati Bengals vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Date and Time: Sunday, September 18, 2016, 1 p.m. ET
Location: Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, PA
Week 2 NFL Odds at BookMaker.eu: Check Back Later
Bengals vs. Steelers TV Coverage: CBS
The Bengals were faced with a less than ideal situation for their opener. Playing the New York Jets on the 15th anniversary of 9/11, Marvin Lewis knew the emotions would be flowing. And it looked early on like the Bengals had trouble matching the Jets. It turned out to be a great test for the Bengals in what seemed like a playoff atmosphere. It wasn’t that far off with two good teams battling near ground zero.
And it was a lesson learned for the Bengals, who have had difficulty in real playoff scenarios. Their failures have been well chronicled with losses in the first round in each of the past five seasons and seven straight overall. The Bengals haven’t won a playoff game since the 1990 season.
Even without some star power in the lineup the Steelers were able to do what most expected them to on Monday night. As long as Ben Roethlisberger is throwing to Antonio Brown the offense should continue to click and rack up the points. Pittsburgh displayed the type of balance that good offensive teams need to have in order to be successful. Big Ben threw for 300 yards, DeAngelo Williams ran for 143 and Brown had eight catches for 126 yards and two scores. It took a late touchdown run by Williams to cash the over, but that’s how the Steelers are going to play.
Matchup To Watch
Andy Dalton passed a big test on Sunday. Now, he gets to take the final exam. Playing in his first regular season game since breaking his thumb against the Steelers near the end of last season, Dalton was spot on and laid to rest plenty of questions regarding his toughness. Dalton was hounded all afternoon and sacked seven times by the Jets, yet he still delivered when the Bengals needed him the most.
While under constant pressure, Dalton completed 23 of 30 pass attempts for 366 yards and a touchdown in a gritty effort. And he did it while working with some new pass catchers in the offense. With Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu no longer on the team and Tyler Eifert out for another few weeks, Dalton completed more than half of his passes to A.J. Green and the combination has become deadly.
Guarded by one of the best corners for much of the game and double-teamed on several other occasions, Green was able break free for 12 receptions, 180 yards and 54-yard touchdown. The rapport between the two is scary. The Jets knew Green would be the favorite target and they were still powerless to stop the connection. The two could connect against a Steelers defense that allowed Kirk Cousins to throw for 329 yards. However, much of that came after the Skins fell behind and had to abandon the run game. Still, Pittsburgh’s secondary is probably the weakest link on the defense.
Bengals vs.SteelersFree Picks
With Vontaze Burfict not playing, maybe these two can play some football. Burfict got his suspension for trying to decapitate Brown in last season’s playoff matchup and you know emotions will be high. Cincinnati had that game won until the silliness at the end led to a Steelers game-winning field goal. The Bengals also had backup A.J. McCarron under center and he led a comeback that nearly ended the playoff drought.
Cincinnati hasn’t had a lot of success when playing the Steelers losing five of six and 10 of the last 13 games played. Two of those victories during that span came in Pittsburgh, though, including a 16-10 win at Heinz Field last season when they picked off Roethlisberger three times. Defense usually prevails with the under going 7-3 in the last 10 meetings and 6-1 in the last seven in Pittsburgh. Dalton and the Bengals have something to prove and I like them to get it done on the odds at BookMaker.eu.
Bengals vs. Steelers Week 2 ATS Pick:Bengals
Bengals vs. Steelers Score Prediction: Bengals 29, Steelers 24