NFL

Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals Preview

Welcome to the most comprehensive Pittsburgh Steelers Game Day Preview on the internet! NGSC Sports is where you come to find everything you need to know about the Steelers and their upcoming opponent! Mike Drakulich (@PghSportsNation) brings you inside the huddle for both teams, providing all fans with a game story, Steelers keys to success, score prediction, game information, a detailed breakdown of each team, individual stats, team stats, and team injury reports. Heck, you’ll even know the weather at kickoff! The only thing you’re missing is a game uniform!

Bruised Steelers limp into Cincinnati with backs against the wall

Despite the season ending injury to starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in week two, followed by their top running back in James Conner missing a few games this season, the Steelers were rolling along, finding ways to win games despite the adversity, collecting four straight wins to post a 5-4 record after starting off the year 0-3.

Then the bottom fell out up in Cleveland.

Conner left the game as quickly as he entered it, re-aggravating his shoulder injury. Soon Juju Smith-Schuster and Diontae Johnson would leave the game suffering concussions. Mason Rudolph had his worst day as a pro, throwing four interceptions, and wasn’t able to hit the ocean with a pass if he were standing on a cruise ship in the middle of the ocean.

To and insult to injury, you had the brawl at the end of the game, when Myles Garrett decided to drive Rudolph into the ground and lay on top of him, well after the pass had been thrown, and the game already decided at 21-7 Cleveland.

Rudolph, rightfully pissed, pushed Garrett to get off of him. Next thing you know, in a three man tussle, Garret rips Rudolph’s helmet off, and then swings it at Rudolph’s head, barely connecting, but causing center Maurkice Pouncey to lose his mind and attack Garrett, throwing punches at him until he was on the ground, then adding a few kicks to the head to boot… pun intended.

It was ugly.

Garrett acted like a man a few days later. Admitting his wrongdoing. Rudolph responded shortly thereafter with an apology.

Then on Thursday, Garret decided to go the coward’s route again, desperately trying anything to get his suspension reduced, and stated that Rudolph used a racial slur against him.

His lies fooled no one, especially James Thrash, who upheld Garrett’s indefinite suspension. Pouncey’s suspension was reduced to two games, so he will miss this game and next week in the rematch vs Cleveland.

In addition to the Garrett incident, the Browns were head hunting, leading to the concussions listed above to Smith-Schuster and Johnson.

Now the team has to regroup quickly, and they may have what the doctor ordered in the win-less Bengals. Both James Conner and Juju Smith-Schuster will be out, but Benny Snell will be back in action after missing a few weeks from having his knee scoped.

Snell and Jaylen Samuels should see the bulk of the work at running back, with Trey Edmunds and Kerrith Whyte perhaps seeing a few touches here and there.

With Smith-Schuster out, Diontae Johnson and James Washington will have to elevate their play, as will their quarterback in Mason Rudolph.

This team has a lot of rebounding to do in wake of last week’s offensive disaster.

The best thing they can do is burn those tapes and come out with an “us against the world” type attitude, with all that has happened not only last week, but for the entire season.

Johnny Holton and Deon Cain will look to inject any type of life and offense they can muster for the depleted receiver corps. It would be nice to see Vance McDonald step it up and contribute more, as well as Nick Vannett.

It’s going to take the entire roster to pick itself up and make some plays, or they can kiss the 2019 season good-bye.

With the way the defense is playing, if the offense can find any way to be just average, this team has a puncher’s chance, but honestly, that’s a BIG if with what we’ve seen from this group through ten games.

“It’s crazy how such little things can affect a play,” tight end Nick Vannett said. “It can stop you from getting a yard or two. This is a game of inches, and we want to get as many as we can.”

That statement couldn’t be truer, especially when you have so many starters missing from the line-up.

One of the Steelers biggest problems this season has been converting short yardage situations. It has been a disaster.

“We realize short yardage has been an issue for us,” coach Mike Tomlin said. “There are some ways to approach it. No. 1, we have to execute better. There is a certain meat-on-meat or bone-on-bone element of football that you can’t run away from, and short yardage is one of them. But at the same time, we could do some things from a coach’s perspective from a planning and schematics perspective to assist the guys, as well. And I think we are working in both areas.”

The Steelers should be able to find success running the ball, as the Bengals are dead last in rushing defense. It’s time to man up this weekend, from across the offensive line to the ball carriers.

“I think we are going to be a lot better,” Vannett said. “We expect to be a lot better from here on out.”

Steelers Keys to Success

  1. Mason Rudolph- Can he bounce back from his horrific performance last week? He better, or the 2019 season is over.
  2. Run the damn ball! No more excuses. The Browns are bad vs the run. It’s time for the offensive line to find it’s Man Cards, along with Benny Snell and Jaylen Samuels running with some conviction.
  3. Sic the dogs on Ryan Finley- He’s… not good at all. Time for the Steleers defense to get back in attack mode and force some turnovers, which can be had by QB pressure and sacks.
  4. Utilize what you have… No Ben, no Juju, no Conner. Just have to play to the strengths of the personnel that takes the field.

Prediction

Not really much to say here. The Bengals flat out stink, and this is a game where the defense has to step up and take this game by the neck.

Offensively, it would behoove Pittsburgh to pound the ball behind Snell and Samuels, with some play action and a few deep shots to keep the Bengal’s defense honest.

The Bengals have a weak rookie quarterback, their offensive line is garbage– giving Joe Mixon virtually no chance to run the ball, and without A.J. Green, besides Tyler Boyd and Tyler Eifert, who has managed to remain healthy for a few games, the Bengals have no play makers.

This should be an angry, fed up Steelers team that refuses to blink in the eye of adversity, that find’s it’s footing, and comes up with a way to beat a sub par team in Cincinnati.

Then it’s hopefully get healthy for the bloodbath that will be the rematch between Pittsburgh and Cleveland.

I will e ugly, but the Steelers WILL win this game.

Steelers 17 Bengals 6

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Game Day Information

Venue: Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, OH.

Field: FieldTurf

Game-time: Sunday, November 24th, at 1:00 pm ET

TV: CBS (Local on KDKA-TV)

  • Announcers: Andrew Catalon  (play-by-play) James Lofton (analyst) John Schriffen (reporter)

Local Radio: Pittsburgh- 102.5 WDVE & WBGG 970 AM

  • Announcers: Bill Hillgrove (play-by-play) Tunch Ilkin (analyst) Craig Wolfley (sideline) Missi Matthews (sideline)

Internet Broadcast: Steelers Nation Radio (SNR) on Steelers.com

Weather at Kickoff: Partly Cloudy. 33 with winds 10 mph SSW.

Vegas Line: Pittsburgh -6.5

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Pittsburgh Steelers vs Cincinnati Bengals History

Series History: Began in 1970

Steelers are 63-35 overall vs Cincinnati

  • At Home: 34-16
  • On Road: 31-19
  • Post-Season: 2-0
  • Streak: Steelers won the last nine meetings.
  • Last Regular Season Meeting: Steelers Win, 27-3 (Sept. 30, 2019)
  • Last Post-Season Meeting: Steelers Win, 18-16 (Jan. 9, 2016)

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Scouting the Pittsburgh Steelers

Overall Record: 5-5

Head Coach: Mike Tomlin (13th Season with Steelers)

  • Overall Regular Season Record: 128-71-1 (.641)
  • Playoff Record: 8-7 (Qualified for playoffs 8 times)

2019 Pittsburgh Steelers Team Roster

Steelers Team Statistics

Pittsburgh Steelers 2019 Schedule 

Last Game: Browns 21 Steelers 7

OFFENSE

Quarterbacks

Mason Rudolph*

The 2nd year gunslinger out of Oklahoma State takes over for the injured Ben Roethlisberger. Is slowly but surely improving and gaining confidence by the week.

Passing Yards: 1,551

  • TD Passes: 12
  • Interceptions: 8
  • Sacks: 13

Yards Rushing: 38

  • Rushing TD’s: 0

Devlin Hodges

The former Samford quarterback showed no fear when he was forced into action vs the Ravens. Did well in first NFL start vs Chargers.

Passing Yards: 200

  • TD Passes: 1
  • Interceptions: 1
  • Sacks: 0

Yards Rushing: 28

  • Rushing TD’s: 0

Ben Roethlisberger (Injured)

Out for the season with an elbow injury.

Passing Yards: 351

  • TD Passes: 0
  • Interceptions: 1
  • Sacks: 2

Yards Rushing: 7

  • Rushing TD’s: 0

 

Running Backs

James Conner (Injured)

Conner has picked it up big time the past two games he’s played. May have to shake off a little rust after missing the last pair of games.

Yards Rushing: 390

  • Rushing TD’s: 4

Receptions: 30

  • Yards Receiving: 242
  • Receiving TD’s: 2

Jaylen Samuels*

Dynamic player who can play several positions. Dangerous as a pass-catcher out of the backfield.

Yards Rushing: 115

  • Rushing TD’s: 1

Receptions: 34

  • Yards Receiving: 186
  • Receiving TD’s: 1

Benny Snell, Jr. 

Yards Rushing: 118

  • Rushing TD’s: 0

Receptions: 1

  • Yards Receiving: 14
  • Receiving TD’s: 0

Trey Edmunds

Edmunds will serve as a change of pace back behind Samuels and Snell.

Yards Rushing: 85

  • Rushing TD’s: 0

Receptions: 5

  • Yards Receiving: 41
  • Receiving TD’s: 0

 

Wide Receivers

Juju Smith-Schuster (Injured)

Smith-Schuster has struggled this season without Roethlisberger at the helm.

Receptions: 38

  • Receiving Yards: 524
  • Receiving TD’s: 3

Diontae Johnson*

Talented rookie who makes the most of every reception. Blessed with wicked moves in open space.

Receptions: 32

  • Receiving Yards: 380
  • Receiving TD’s: 3

James Washington*

He was ready to have a breakout season and establish himself as a big-time playmaker in the NFL. Has shown signs of life the past few weeks.

Receptions: 23

  • Receiving Yards: 369
  • Receiving TD’s: 1

Ryan Switzer (Injured)

Receptions: 8

  • Receiving Yards: 27
  • Receiving TD’s: 0

Johnny Holton

Steelers deep threat, but has yet to record a catch.

Receptions: 1

  • Receiving Yards: 22
  • Receiving TD’s: 0

Deon Cain

Receptions: 0

  • Receiving Yards: 0
  • Receiving TD’s: 0

 

Tight Ends

Vance McDonald*

The Vanimal, when unleashed, is a sight to see. He could be a major part of offense if utilized correctly and if he stays healthy.

Receptions: 28

  • Receiving Yards: 220
  • Receiving TD’s: 2

Nate Vannett

The Ohio State product was acquired from the Seahawks earlier this season.

Receptions: 6

  • Receiving Yards: 63
  • Receiving TD’s: 0

*Denotes Starter

 

OFFENSIVE LINE

Left Tackle: Alejandro Villanueva

Left Guard: B.J. Finney/Ramon Foster

Center: Maurkice Pouncey

Right Guard: David DeCastro

Right Tackle: Matt Feiler

 

DEFENSE (Base 3-4)

Defensive Tackle: Javon Hargrave/Dan McCullers

Defensive End: Tyson Alualu

Left OLB: T.J. Watt

Left MLB: Devin Bush/Mark Baron

Right MLB: Vince Willams

Right OLB: Bud Dupree

Cornerback: Joe Haden

Strong Safety: Terrell Edmunds

Free Safety: Minkah Fitzpatrick

Cornerback: Steven Nelson/Artie Burns

Nickle: Mike Hilton/Cameron Sutton

 

SPECIAL TEAMS

Placekicker

Chris Boswell

Extra Points: 20-20

FG: 18-20

  • 0-19: 1-1 / 20-29:  6-6 / 30-39: 4-4 / 40-49:  6-7 / 50+:  1-2
  • Long: 51

Punter

Jordan Berry

Yards per Punt: 46.5

 

Kickoff Returners

Johnny Holton

Yards per Kickoff Return: 18.3

  • Return TD’s: 0

 

Punt Returner

Cameron Sutton

Yards per Kickoff Return: 8.0

  • Return TD’s: 0

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Scouting the Cincinnati Bengals

Overall Record: 0-10

Head Coach: Zach Taylor (1st Season with Bengals)

  • Overall Regular Season Record: 0-10 / 0-10 with Bengals
  • Playoff Record: 0-0 (Qualified for playoffs 0 times)

2019 Cincinnati Bengals Roster

Cincinnati Team Statistics Defensive Stats

Last Game: Raiders 17 Bengals 10

OFFENSE

Quarterbacks

Ryan Finley*

The rookie is… not very good.

Passing Yards: 282

  • TD Passes: 1
  • Interceptions: 2
  • Sacks: 7

Yards Rushing: 69

  • Rushing TD’s: 0

Andy Dalton

Passing Yards: 2,258

  • TD Passes: 9
  • Interceptions: 8
  • Sacks: 29

Yards Rushing: -4

  • Rushing TD’s: 0

 

Running Backs

Joe Mixon*

Bengals leading rusher, but having a horrible season compared to last year.

  • Yards Rushing: 520
  • Rushing TD’s: 1

Receptions: 22

  • Yards Receiving: 164
  • Receiving TD’s: 3

Giovani Bernard

Yards Rushing: 118

  • Rushing TD’s: 0

Receptions: 20

  • Yards Receiving: 142
  • Receiving TD’s: 0

 

Wide Receivers

Tyler Boyd*

The Bengals top receiver with Green sidelined.

Receptions: 58

  • Receiving Yards: 598
  • Receiving TD’s: 1

Auden Tate*

Receptions: 34

  • Receiving Yards: 483
  • Receiving TD’s: 1

Alex Erickson

Receptions: 26

  • Receiving Yards: 343
  • Receiving TD’s: 0

John Ross III (Injured)

Receptions: 16

  • Receiving Yards: 328
  • Receiving TD’s: 3

Damion Willis

Receptions: 9

  • Receiving Yards: 82
  • Receiving TD’s: 0

A.J. Green (Injured)

Receptions: 0

  • Receiving Yards: 0
  • Receiving TD’s: 0

 

Tight Ends

Tyler Eifert*

Receptions: 28

  • Receiving Yards: 233
  • Receiving TD’s: 2

C.J. Uzomah

Receptions: 11

  • Receiving Yards: 117
  • Receiving TD’s: 0

*Denotes Starter

 

DEFENSE (Base 4-3)

As bad as it gets. The Bengals are giving up 425 yards per game and allowing opponents 27.6 points per game. Awful vs the run, giving up 167 a game on the ground.

SPECIAL TEAMS

Placekicker

Randy Bullock

Extra Points: 15-15

FG: 14-17

  • 0-19: 0-0 / 20-29: 6-6 / 30-39: 4-4 / 40-49: 4-5 / 50+: 0-2
  • Long: 48

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Injury Report (11/22/19)

Pittsburgh

  • Out: RB James Conner (Shoulder), WR JuJu Smith-Schuster (Concussion/Knee)
  • Doubtful: CB Artie Burns (Knee)
  • Questionable: None

Cincinnati

  • Out: WR A.J Green (Ankle)
  • Doubtful: None
  • Questionable: TE Drew Sample (Ankle), WR Auden Tate (Concussion)

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Offensive Stats

Total yards per game 

  • Pittsburgh: 294.4
  • Cincinnati: 334

Passing yards per game

  • Pittsburgh: 213.7
  • Cincinnati: 253.4

Rushing yards per game

  • Pittsburgh: 80.7
  • Cincinnati: 80.6

Points per game

  • Pittsburgh: 20
  • Cincinnati: 14.7

 

Defensive Stats

Total Yards per game allowed

  • Pittsburgh: 328.3
  • Cincinnati: 425.1

Passing Yards per game allowed

  • Pittsburgh: 223.1
  • Cincinnati: 258.1

Rushing Yards per game allowed

  • Pittsburgh: 105.2
  • Cincinnati: 167

Points Allowed

  • Pittsburgh: 20.2
  • Cincinnati: 27.6

Sacks

  • Pittsburgh: 34
  • Cincinnati: 13

Interceptions

  • Pittsburgh: 14
  • Cincinnati: 4

Fumbles Recovered

  • Pittsburgh: 11
  • Cincinnati: 6

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Author Profile

Mike DrakulichYour source for Pittsburgh sports!
From Midland, "The Basketball Capital of Pennsylvania", located 35 miles NW of Pittsburgh along the Ohio River. This former steel town was home to storied athletes such as Dave Alston, Norm Van Lier, Simmie Hill, and the legendary 1965 Midland High School Basketball Team.

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