Nov 1, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown (84) runs after a catch as Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Will Clarke (93) and outside linebacker Vincent Rey (57) pursue during the fourth quarter at Heinz Field. The Bengals won 16-10. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Led by Vincent Rey, the linebackers were keeping Le’Veon Bell and then DeAngelo Williams, after Bell left with a season ending torn MCL. The Bengals gained back Vontaze Burfict, who was determined to make a difference in his first game back. A.J. Hawk, Emmanuel Lemur, and Chris Carter played limited roles but were still important in filling up the field to limit the Steelers powerful offense.
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There was one problem, Heath Miller. He saw numerous plays over the middle and the linebackers were caught between containment and coverage, which allowed Miller to gain 105 yards. Although a safety should have been assigned to Miller, the coverage ultimately broke down in the area of the linebackers.
Defensive Line: B+
Three sacks, six quarterback hits, and eight tackles were accumulated by the defensive line. The kept Ben uncomfortable, forcing him to throw ill-advised passes, and forced him to move on a knee that was still not 100% healthy. Geno Atkins was a nuisance in the backfield all game along with Michael Johnson.
The Bengals defensive line looks as if they will get another shot at Johnny Manziel. If they get the Manziel they saw last season, this could be a long game for the Browns offense. Geno Atkins is back in fine form and Michael Johnson looks as if the Bengals are the perfect fit for his style of play, unlike the Tampa Bay Buccaneers he left for last season.
Next: Special Teams and Coaching