When looking at a potential matchups the Pittsburgh Steelers fan base might not know, most would suggest there wouldn’t be many players on the Cincinnati Bengals who would fall into that category. After all, they are AFC North divisional rivals.
However, even though both teams reside in the AFC North, the Bengals’ roster is significantly different this year than they were in past years under Marvin Lewis. So, with the Steelers facing the Bengals for the first time in Week 4, I asked Cincy Jungle’s, SB Nation’s Cincinnati Bengals website, writer Patrick Judis if he could list one player who he thought could impact the game, but isn’t being talked about much.
Check out his answer below:
I’m going to have to go with Auden Tate. He had a huge game last week with six catches for 88 yards, and he basically took the starting role away from undrafted rookie receiver Damion Willis. The way they used Tate last week was interesting. He is a big receiver who doesn’t have great top end speed. What Cincinnati did last week was give him the ball early in the play to allow him to power through defensive backs and safeties for yards. They heavily featured that concept on the Bengals attempt at a game winning drive as well. Even opening up the idea of him getting the ball early in his route helps open up deeper passes for him, because at his core he is still a great jump ball/contested pass catching receiver who is an absolute nightmare of a mismatch.
I thought bringing up Tate was a brilliant choice by Judis. After all, without AJ Green in the lineup, the Bengals will rely on players like Tyler Boyd, John Ross and several running backs to give Andy Dalton plenty of targets in the passing game. Until Green returns, it is safe to say Tate should be getting targets early and often to open up Boyd and Ross down the field.
When thinking about a Steelers player who might be considered an under the radar type player, who would you consider to fall into that category? While difficult to put him in this category I would lean towards wide receiver James Washington. With Washington’s connection with Mason Rudolph it is tough to not expect big things from the former Oklahoma State wide receiver.
Who would you put in that category? Let us know in the comment section below! And be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black-and-gold heading into Week 4.