Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
3. Carlos Dunlap
This year the Bengals’ defense has vastly improved in its 2015 showing and it can be attributed to second year defensive coordinator Paul Guenther and the depth at defensive line. The Bengals’ are currently ranked 12th in the NFL in overall defense.
A year ago, the Bengals ranked last in the NFL after recording 20 sacks. They are currently ranked ninth through Week 7 with 17 sacks. Carlos Dunlap is on track to have a career year with 6.5 sacks on the season, which currently ranks him third in the league along with Seattle’s Michael Bennett. The matchup between Dunlap and the Steelers’ offensive line will be one to watch because the Steelers have allowed 18 sacks in seven games, the tenth most in the NFL.
Ben Roethlisberger returns at quarterback which adds a number of dimensions to the Steelers’ offense. Roethlisberger is an agile quarterback who has historically been difficult to tackle for a loss of yards. If the Bengals want to stall the Steelers offense they will need to penetrate up front and apply pressure to Roethlisberger. Dunlap will play a huge role in the Bengals’ defensive success if he can disrupt the offensive line and get to Roethlisberger.