Sep 8, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Cincinnati Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert (85) makes a catch against Chicago Bears cornerback Tim Jennings (26) during the fourth quarter at Soldier Field. Chicago defeats Cincinnati 24-21. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports
Another injury depleted area for the Steelers. While Heath Miller could play on Monday Night (unlikely), he is coming off an ACL tear late in 2012 and has yet to play a game since. That leaves the Steelers with 5th year man David Johnson. Who, you ask? Exactly. He of 19 career catches in 3+ seasons. The Bengals on the other hand come with a 2 TE formation featuring 2-Time Pro Bowl Jermaine Gresham and 1st round pick Tyler Eifert. Gresham and Eifert combined for 10 catches and 82 yards in week 1… more than half of Johnson’ career totals (19 for 157)!
Though it may have been tough to tell in week 1 (0 sacks), the DL is the strength of this Bengals team. They did get 4 QB hits on Cutler and after a year with 51 sacks, I wouldn’t expect this unit to be shutout for a second week in a row (especially not by this Steelers line). Despite 0 sacks in week 1, they did hold Forte to just 50 yards on 19 carries. I would expect something similar in week 2 being that Forte is 10 times better than any back in Pittsburgh and the Bears line is better than that of the Steelers. The Steelers DL did a pretty good job on Chris Johnson in week 1 (25 for 70), but like the Bengals DL, they were also shut out in the sack category in week 1 (Polamalu got 1). With the loss of Casey Hampton, this 3-4 defense has lost some of its effectiveness and Brett Kiesel will be 35 by week 3.