Six Aspects of winning tonight's AFC North rivalry game

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With the Cincinnati Bengals first AFC North battle coming up this Monday, here are six aspects that you should keep your eye one, as they could be keys to the entire game. After Monday Night, we’ll take a look into all of these aspects and see just how they turned out in the game and if they made a impact on the game or not.

 

Dec 23, 2012; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) is sacked by Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle Geno Atkins (97) during the second half of the game at Heinz Field. The Bengals won the game, 13-10. Mandatory Credit: Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

Dec 23, 2012; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) is sacked by Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle Geno Atkins (97) during the second half of the game at Heinz Field. The Bengals won the game, 13-10. Mandatory Credit: Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

1. Getting to Big Ben

The Pittsburgh Steelers had a horrible day protecting Ben Roethlisberger in week 1 against the Tennessee Titans, giving up five sacks and six quarterback hits. The Bengals defensive line didn’t total any sacks against the Chicago Bears, but the pressure was certainly there. With Maurkice Pouncey out for the year, center Kelvin Beachum has to go against arguably the best defensive tackle in the game in Geno Atkins. Not only that, but the Bengals will have to wrap up Big Ben and take him down. If they don’t, he could run around, extend plays, and possibly pick apart the Bengals defense.

 

2. Andy Dalton against Dick LeBeau

While Andy Dalton had a great week last week, despite throwing two interceptions, this is going to be a great challenge for him. The Steelers are 2nd in the NFL on pass defense so far, and they are not going to let up on Dalton. Last year, the Steelers were the #1 pass defense in the league, allowing only 185 yards per opponent. In the last game of the season, Dalton threw 278 yards; although threw two interceptions and was sacked six times. Dalton is going to have to stay poised against this defense and make smart decisions in order to beat this pass defense.

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