The Pittsburgh Steelers have another tough test ahead of them in Week 3 of the 2021 regular season when they host the Cincinnati Bengals at Heinz Field for their season opener. The Bengals are 1-1 after a Week 2 loss to the Chicago Bears last Sunday, and with players like Joe Mixon, Joe Burrow and Jessie Bates coming to town, the Steelers could have their hands full.
With all the talk about the big name players for Cincinnati, it isn’t as if their roster is perfect. In fact, there are plenty of issues on both sides of the ball. Every unit has their weaknesses. This week I was able to ask Patrick Judis of Cincy Jungle several questions leading up to the Week 3 matchup. One of those questions was where he thought the weakness on the Bengals’ offense resided.
Here is what he said about the offense:
The Bengals’ interior offensive line has been a pretty big issue. A lot of it has been communication on who should be blocking who kind of stuff. You can tell they need more time to gel. It is also likely we will see second round pick Jackson Carman play here very soon with some of the issues we’ve seen from inside. The rest of the struggles seem to come from play calling being too predictable at times.
The Bengals’ offensive line, going against the stout Steelers’ defensive front, should have their hands full on Sunday, but what about the Cincinnati defense? Where are the kinks in their armor?
Defensively, the unit seems to be more solid than the last 2 seasons where it was a revolving door. They are getting to the quarterback and Mike Hilton and Chidobe Awuzie have been more than solid additions to the cornerback position. The main issues has been getting off the field on third down. Miscues with missed tackles and penalties during those times have been killers.
The Steelers play another team who has been getting after the quarter with the Bengals registering 6 sacks so far through two games, this one ahead of the Steelers (5). It sounds like a broken record, but is worth repeating. If the Steelers are unable to protect Ben Roethlisberger, and develop some type of rhythm up front, many of the factors being discussed will become moot.
Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black and gold as they prepare for Week 3 of the 2021 regular season.