Why the Bengals will have a Breakthrough Road-Victory in Pittsburgh this Sunday.

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Pittsburgh’s top-ranked defense isn’t that scary

Dick Lebeau is a master of his craft, there’s no doubt about this. The vaunted Pittsburgh defense is the foundation of their football team every year, and this year is no different. The Steelers rank first overall in Total Defense, Passing Defense, and Rushing Defense. That’s the first time I can remember one team sweeping all three categories at once. Add on top of that, Andy Dalton has struggled in the passing game of late. The Bengals are in for a total shutdown, right? Not the way I see it. These rankings are based on total yardage, which in my humble opinion is the least valuable stat to base defensive performance. The Bengals are outpacing the Steelers’ top defense in sacks, passes defensed, interceptions, and 4th down percentage. On top of that, this Steelers team is plagues by:

Injuries

Everybody remember when it was the Bengals defense that was tops in the league mid-way through last year? Then Leon Hall got hurt, and without a shutdown CB, the Bengals defense was reeling. Fast forward a year, it’s the Steeler who will be missing Ike Taylor on Sunday. Taylor blanketed A.J. Green in Week 7, and held him to just one catch for seven yards and a touchdown. Taylor’s backup, Keenan Lewis, also missed practice Thursday.

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