The 2021 regular season is upon us, and the Pittsburgh Steelers are preparing for the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 3. While the Steelers get ready for their second home game of the season, it is time for the BTSC staff to put on their prognostication hats and guess the winner of the contest.
Who will get closest? We will be keeping tabs, so let’s get the picks. Check out the staff picks below, and even a pick from an enemy guest!
The Pittsburgh Steelers need a win, and the Cincinnati Bengals stand in their way. This game won’t be a blowout, and it won’t be pretty. When you are talking about ugly games, I always go with the team with the better defense. In this game, that’s the Steelers. Barring some late breaking injury news, I expect the Steelers defense to impose their will on Joe Burrow and the boys. On top of that, I think a more creative game plan will help give the offense a boost.
Pick: Steelers 23, Bengals 17
I could give some deep, meaningful explanation as to why I think this will be the score, but I really don’t know. I came up with this score before T.J. Watt was ruled out, but I’m still sticking with it anyways. But I think it will be a low-scoring affair once again.
Pick: Steelers 24, Bengals 17
Bryan Anthony Davis
I may be crazy, but I think the Steelers are going to score points in Week 3. But the defense needs to score points as well. The black and gold have to score on the first drive for the first time in 12 contests and mix up the game plan on offense with creativity.
Pick: Steelers 33, Bengals 26
I anticipate a defensive slug fest, not a great game for either team on the offensive side of the ball. A low scoring affair in which I’ll side with the home team (so long as we get an appearance from T.J. Watt). Don’t expect any fireworks but a Steelers win at home.
Pick: Steelers 18, Bengals 13
This feels like an ugly game. Two bitter rivals coming off of poor performances whose defenses are ahead of their offenses. I picture a tight, scrappy contest with lots of sacks, punts and aggrieved comments on the BTSC Game Day Open Thread. The Steelers survive by making less mistakes and getting stops when they need them.
Pick: Steelers 20, Bengals 16
The Steelers offense is not good. Thirty-Three points in two weeks is awful. Can they turn it around? Sure they can, but I’m not seeing more than a small improvement this week. The Bengals revamped defense is pretty solid and the Bengals offense has some serious young threats. The Steelers are going to need a really good defensive game to win this one
Pick: Steelers 16, Bengals 13
Rich Schofield (Big Bro Scho)
I held out waiting to see what was going on with the injury status of several key players. Haden and Bush are in, Highsmith is out and T.J. Watt is now out. I would feel a lot better if Watt was playing. The O-line does a better job protecting Ben and the offense looks better than in the first two weeks. Bush and Haden returning helps and the defense overcomes a turnover by the offense to force a pair of their own. It isn’t the prettiest of games, but style points don’t matter.
Pick: Steelers 24, Bengals 20
I honestly don't know what to think about this team at the moment. If the Steelers would have lost Week 1 and then turned around and won their home opener, then everything would make more sense at the moment. There would definitely be far less overreaction. The Steelers defense just isn't the same without T.J. Watt, which is my biggest concern. The Steelers are scheduled to get back both Haden and Bush, which should stabilize the ship. The Steelers take another baby step towards respectability on offense, thanks in part to the slow and steady improvement of the offensive line. Steelers win a close one at Heinz Field.
Pick: Steelers 24, Bengals 16
The offensive lines for both teams are still a work in progress, and both teams have a plethora of wide receivers. At the end of the day, I think it comes down to which quarterback can make the clutch play and avoid a costly turnover. Joe Burrow will be motivated to perform at a high level after throwing three interceptions last week, but I think Minkah Fitzpatrick gets the best of Burrow and comes away with an interception in the fourth quarter to make the difference.
Pick: Steelers 23, Bengals 19
This will be short and sweet for me, with key players back and an average performance last week for added motivation, I’m going to go with my heart over my head and say the Steelers win. Originally, I had them dropping this game, however, it might be the return game in Cincy where that happens. Others have already said 23-19, so below is my other score pick.
Pick: Steelers 22, Bengals 17
The Cincinnati Bengals are coming to visit Heinz Field once again. The Bengals away record Is very shaky at the moment under head coach Zac Taylor. Throughout Zac Taylor’s coaching career with the Bengals they have One win and One Tie. The Pittsburgh Steelers have defended home turf with a streak of 5 current wins over the Bengals at home. I can’t wait to see this match up and this game will tell the fans who Is on the rise or fall. As much as I dislike the Bengals they are a very competitive team and need to be treated as such. I believe we see a better run game and overall offense here In week Three.
Pick: Steelers 29, Bengals 18
With the Steelers offense so consistently bad dating back to last Halloween, it seems like the formula for success has been to keep things close and low-scoring and hope to get a defensive splash play or two. It’s going to be a bit harder this week with Alex Highsmith out of action and T.J. Watt less than 100 percent (if he even plays). Thankfully, Melvin Ingram appears to be a more than capable fill-in. Will that be enough? You have to hit rock bottom before you can start your ascension back to the top. This week will be that rock bottom for your Pittsburgh Steelers.
Pick: Bengals 24, Steelers 13
Patrick Judis (Cincy Jungle Contributor)
This is a rough one to predict. It is pretty rare in this age of the NFL that we see two teams have defenses as their strengths with struggling offenses.
I have to believe that Burrow gets back to being his old self after one of his worst games as a pro last week. It will still be a close ugly game where Burrow shows off some ice in his veins late to score a touchdown to put the game away.
Pick: Bengals 27, Steelers 24
What is your prediction? Let us know in the comment section below, and feel free to tell the contributors above why they are dead wrong, or spot on!