The Pittsburgh Steelers are gearing up for the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 4 of the 2019 regular season. After dropping three staright games to start the season, they face a Bengals team who also searching for their first win of the regular season.
This isn’t a unique matchup for the Steelers. They know their AFC North rivals very well, but there are a lot of new faces on the Cincinnati side of things who haven’t been there during the Marvin Lewis era. So, I wanted to do was to get the lowdown on what the Bengals might have in store for the Steelers by talking with Cincy Jungle, 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 tasked with stopping the Steelers’ offense. Check out his response:
The Bengals have been putting more and more of their 3-4 or 5-2 defense (depending on how you look at it) out there. They have basically had defensive ends Sam Hubbard and Carlos Dunlap playing the edge with three defensive tackles inside. It has created some interesting results, but if the Steelers spread them out there doesn’t seem to be much hope they will stick with that. It has been one of their best ways of stopping the run, so getting them out of that could be a key for Pittsburgh.
The secondary is still solid with William Jackson and Dre Kirkpatrick playing the perimeter, and Shawn Williams and Jessie Bates have also been solid. We’re still trying to completely figure out what new defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo is doing with this defense. We have figured two things so far though. The first, he gets pretty exotic in how he disguises overages. The second, he is asking our nonathletic linebackers to do too much. When looking back at the 49ers blowout, our defensive backs struggled to make tackles on a consistent basis, but our linebackers were constantly beat to their spot or just out of position. Luckily we saw Anarumo cycle in some of our more athletic linebackers last week.
Fans might read this and think stopping the Steelers’ offense won’t be difficult to do. After all, the team has struggled in this area throughout the first three weeks of the season. However, if you know anything about the AFC North, it is how familiarity is a priority in these divisional grudge matches. What Pittsburgh might have as an advantage could be the fact little is known about Mason Rudolph and the young skill position players the team has deployed.
If the Steelers come out with a completely different philosophy on Monday Night Football, it could catch the Bengals off guard and help them see some early game success. Then again, it could be more of the same which would make the Bengals’ lives a lot easier when the two teams meet in prime time.
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 4.