The Pittsburgh Steelers are gearing up for the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 12 of the 2019 regular season. Entering the game with a 5-5 record, the Steelers prepare to travel to Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, OH for the divisional grudge match.
While this is a familiar matchup for the Steelers, there are some new faces many fans want to know more about. Sure, there are the big name players in the matchup, but what about all those other players who can make a difference?
So, I wanted to get a lowdown on what the Bengals might have in store for the Steelers by talking with Cincy Jungle’s, SB Nation’s Bengals website, writer Patrick Judis to pick his brain on the upcoming matchup.
In this second of many installments, I asked Patrick what he thinks the Bengals defense will do when the Steelers have the ball. Check out his response:
It is no secret the Bengals defense has struggled, but they have shown a little bit of improvement over the weeks. Darqueze Dennard lining up in the slot has really helped because of his tackling ability. The most crucial thing is being able to get pressure on Mason Rudolph. Pass rusher Carl Lawson had some really nice plays last week that made Derek Carr move around or get rid of some passes early. Also Geno Atkins will be attacking whoever is playing in place of the suspended Maurkice Pouncey.
When Pittsburgh goes to the air, it is no secret that they will be attacking the linebackers in coverage. Rookie linebacker Germaine Pratt should help in coverage a lot more than Preston Brown did in Week 4. He isn’t a perfect player, and he will make rookie mistakes, but he is the best coverage linebacker the Bengals have had in years already. Nick Vigil on the other hand will have his hands full. Cincinnati has also been more willing to allow safety Jessie Bates to play closer to the line of scrimmage at times. He jumped a slant last week for an interception.
The Pittsburgh Steelers’ offense is so anemic right now it is hard to imagine any defense struggling to slow them down at any point. However, up until Week 11 this offense was able to move the ball, just fail in the red-zone. The key in this matchup will be to protect the football, and take educated chances down the field.
Mason Rudolph has to be as determined as ever to right some wrongs after his 4 interceptions dud against the Browns on Thursday Night Football. He has had 10 days to allow that performance to stir, and it is time to get the bad taste out of his mouth.
I actually think Rudolph will bounce back, and don’t be shocked to see James Washington step up in place of JuJu Smith-Schuster, who is missing due to a concussion and a knee injury.
Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below, and be sure to keep tabs on BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the Bengals in Week 12.