When the Bengals Run the Ball:
Bengals Running Attack: 14th – 115.8 ypg
Steelers Run Defense: 24th – 120.2 ypg
The Bengals run game has been significantly better since Whitworth moved to LG and Collins to LT (159.5 ypg). Thanks to the Clint Boling injury, the Bengals now have the best and most athletic LG in the NFL. I like this new line and they should find continued success going up against a bad Steelers run defense (24th).
The Steelers will be without RE Brett Keisel (foot) Sunday night and his backup, Ziggy Hood, has been a big disappointment as a 1st round pick. Along with Keisel, NT Steve McLendon, the only Steelers lineman with a forced fumble (2), is questionable with an ankle injury and hasn’t practiced all week. Another encouraging sight for Bengals fans was the 140 all-purpose yards last week for Giovani Bernard.
Maybe Jay Gruden is finally starting to realize the weapon he has in Bernard. The last time these two met, Bernard had 2 TDs, but only 9 touches. I would expect to see a lot more touches for Bernard in this second matchup, and given the new Bengals line and the Steelers poor run defense, I would expect good results.
On a cold, and possibly sloppy night in Pittsburgh, look for the Bengals run game to continue its’ recent success.