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Steelers vs. Bengals, Week 1: Predicting the winner of Steelers vs. Bengals

The staff at BTSC share their thoughts and predict the outcome of the Steelers game against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 1.

Syndication: The Enquirer Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK

The 2022 regular season is here, and the Pittsburgh Steelers are preparing for the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 1. While the Steelers get ready for their first road 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:

Jeff Hartman

The current line on this game is Bengals -6.5. Some might call me crazy, but that line almost feels insulting. Yes, before you ask, I remember the two meetings in 2021. However, I do feel this Steelers team, mainly the defense, is more equipped to handle to Bengals in 2022. The secondary might not be as strong as many would like, but with the addition of Larry Ogunjobi and the return of Tyson Alualu, I like the defensive front a lot more than I did a year ago. Let’s also not forget both Alex Highsmith and T.J. Watt didn’t play in the first meeting between these two division rivals.

Can the offense make enough plays to win? Can the offensive line keep Mitch Trubisky upright and open lanes for Najee Harris? There lies the rub in this game. I think the Steelers make enough plays, and this one might bring back memories of Week 1 in 2021 when the Steelers went to Buffalo and beat the Bills...when no one thought they stood a chance. Sounds familiar, right?

They’ll have to make splash plays to get it done, that includes on special teams, but I think the Steelers make enough plays to win. Take the Steelers getting 6.5-points, but I’ll even take them on the moneyline.

Pick: Steelers 23, Bengals 21

Dave Schofield

I have had this crazy scenario in my head for months now where the Steelers score a touchdown in the middle of the third-quarter to cut the game to one point but it causes them to ultimately be chasing four points at the end of the game. Even though they get into field-goal range, they can’t finish off with a TD and fall by four points. Then the narrative would be about how Coach Tomlin should have gone for two, and how the Steelers settled for too many field goals. As this game has gotten closer, I’ve started to believe so much more of the Steelers pulling off this win. But last year I picked them to lose Week 1 and they shocked the league. Let’s go for a repeat of 2021.

Pick: Bengals 20, Steelers 16

Bryan Anthony Davis

These two teams go through stretches of dominance. Currently, it’s the Bengals as upper-hand possessors The Steelers owned the 70s, 90s, 00s, and 10s. In the 80s and the 20s so far, the Bengals are the bullies. Joe Burrow is the “dude” in the division at this moment, but Kenny Pickett could wage battle with the superstar for AFC North quarterback supremacy. Both defenses are considered higher shelf, and both offensive lines reside in the low rent district. With plenty of big-time players wearing tiger stripes, there’s two guys that should the Steelers keep in check, their odds of winning could increase. Those players are Joe Mixon and Mike Hilton. By limiting No. 28, the Steelers defense has a chance to not leave their secondary out on an island, and be able to better defend the firepower of Burrow to Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins, and Tyler Boyd. On the other side of the field, exploiting Hilton’s height in the slot could be the key to lighting up the scoreboard. I just have this feeling that goes against everything my brain tells me. The Steelers got a Boswell field goal at the buzzer and shock the NFL like another team in transition 30 years ago, the 1992 Steelers.

Pick: Steelers 31, Bengals 30

K.T. Smith

Winning on the road at the defending AFC champs is a tough ask out of the gate. Unlike last year’s game in Cincinnati, which they lost 41-10, the Steelers will compete in this one. With all summer to prepare, they should have some looks on defense to frustrate Joe Burrow and Company. On offense, though, I suspect they will be a work in progress not quite ready to keep up with the Bengals. I think the Steelers make it a game, but in the end aren’t good enough yet to get it done.

Pick: Bengals 24, Steelers 16

Geoffrey Benedict

The Steelers offense has a new quarterback, and a new offensive line. The line has already showed it needs time to gel if there is any hope for this season. The defense has some new key players and a new defensive coordinator. It’s in much better shape than the offense, but I think it is asking too much for the defense to carry the Steelers to a win in week 1.

The Bengals offense is incredibly talented and has no need to gel, they showed that in their playoff run last season. I’d love to see an upset here, but I’m not banking on it.

Pick: Bengals 20, Steelers 13

Rich Schofield (Big Bro Scho)

Why not have the Steelers start with some AFC North football right out of the gate? And while we’re at it, let’s have their opponent be the AFC’s representative in last year’s Super Bowl. What else? Let’s have that game be on the road (how many years have the Steelers started on the road now?). How about having it be the first time since 2003 that future Hall of Fame quarterback Ben Roethlisberger hasn’t been on the roster? How about. The Steelers will go into Cincinnati and play well, but it comes down to one or two plays in the fourth quarter that make the difference and the Bengals don’t Bungle this one away.

Pick: Bengals 24, Steelers 21

Shannon White

Big Ben was the GUY for the Steelers for basically 18 years. He owned the Bengals and the Browns, and had more success against the Ravens always stout defense than any QB in the league during his tenure, including Tom Brady.

Now Joe Burrow is the King of the North. He is the top QB in the division, with the biggest bullseye on his back.

Heavy is the head that carries the crown.

The Steelers and Bengals don’t have a rivalry really. Ben owned them, until he got old and the Bengals got Burrow. Now the Bengals have won three in a row in dominant fashion. That’s not a rivalry, folks.

The Steelers have to focus all their intensity and efforts on making it one.

Trubisky doesn’t have to be the GUY, he just has to be one of the guys that helps the Steelers be competitive in the series once again.

Pick: Bengals 27, Steelers 17

Jeremy Betz

There’s a commonly overlooked aspect to this game, and that is, what does Matt Canada’s unit look like with the ideal QB behind center? From a stylistic standpoint, Mitch Trubisky, is just that. Despite the concerns coming out of preseason action, where the OL looked dysfunctional, the Steelers are a mystery on offense to everyone, including the Bengals.

That fact, along with a defense that should have no problem starting out of the gate fast with veteran stars on every level, could “ugly-up” a low-scoring affair into a surprise victory for the (heavy) underdog Steelers.

Pick: Steelers 20, Bengals 16

Bradley Locker

Some are expecting the Bengals to take a step or two down in 2022 — that feels reasonable given possible regression for a defense that outperformed its talent and a much stronger AFC entering the season. Nonetheless, Cincinnati is just vastly more talented than Pittsburgh, something that was evident in last year’s contests between these teams. The Steelers have been known to pull off shocking Week 1 victories in the past, including flummoxing Josh Allen and the Bills in 2021, but I don’t have much faith in this secondary in stopping Burrow, Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd.

Pick: Bengals 35, Steelers 20

Kyle Chrise (What Yinz Talkin’ Bout)

Some things about this game will be very easy to predict. Fans and spectators will analyze every Trubisky drive in real time, looking for the moment to ditch Mitch and call for Kenny. The Matt Canada outrage will reignite, the instant a rushed offense shows the first glimpse of “Fichtnerberger Ball.” The Devin Bush critics will be emboldened with each Joe Mixon broken tackle. I get it. There’s never been more uncertainty. There’s a new era at quarterback. The ties to the championship teams are gone. Some Steelers fans have never been here before. This is their dark ages. However, I’m old enough to remember a similar time of uncertainty in the 80s, when a South African kicker rose from the gridiron to become a Pittsburgh icon and the Steelers most valuable player. The Chris Boswell ‘22 MVP campaign begins now.

Pick: Steelers 18, Bengals 17

Anthony Defeo

People are looking for a Super Bowl hangover from the Bengals, but it feels like they’re only just beginning. I look for this to be a very tough opener for the Steelers, just as tough as their last three games against Cincinnati.

Pick: Bengals 34, Steelers 13

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!