Laying the table: How the Cincinnati Bengals can beat the Steelers

CINCINNATI, OH - NOVEMBER 24: Tyler Boyd #83 of the Cincinnati Bengals runs the ball during the game as Vince Williams #98 of the Pittsburgh Steelers grabs for the tackle at Paul Brown Stadium on November 24, 2019 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - NOVEMBER 24: Tyler Boyd #83 of the Cincinnati Bengals runs the ball during the game as Vince Williams #98 of the Pittsburgh Steelers grabs for the tackle at Paul Brown Stadium on November 24, 2019 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /
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Cincinnati Bengals
Minkah Fitzpatrick (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

Fitzpatrick makes the Steelers secondary a takeaway threat

Should Burrow find himself with time in the pocket he then has to navigate the Steelers’ secondary. The group is headlined by Minkah Fitzpatrick. The safety was a dominant force in their most recent win against the Cowboys.

Fitzpatrick accounted for six tackles, a forced fumble, and an interception. Benefitting from the pressure applied up top he can roam in the backfield. Burrow must remain wary of where Fitzpatrick is positioned on every snap.

His cover ability sees him lined up all across the formation and he will be important in slowing down a receiving trio that is developing nicely. Tyler Boyd is one of the best slot receivers in the league, while A.J. Green and Tee Higgins will look to stretch the field. If Burrow can avoid Fitzpatrick there are weak links to expose in the Steelers defense.

Rookie Claypool has become the biggest threat on the Steelers offense

At the start of the season, it’s unlikely that you would have guessed second-round draft selection Chase Claypool would be the Steelers’ leading receiver. While JuJu Smith-Schuster is close on his heels and remains a premier target, the Bengals must have a plan for the former Notre Dame wideout.

The Bengals still have an issue covering tight ends and Claypool is built like one. To add to his physicality he has speed to burn. Having set the combine alight with a 4.42 40-yard dash, his track speed has translated to the NFL game.

William Jackson will return for the Bengals and despite being beaten on occasion he is clearly the best cover corner. The issues will be at the other outside corner position. Both LeShaun Sims and Darius Phillips have been picked on continuously. Expect the Bengals to employ Jessie Bates as deep help and guard against big gains from Claypool.

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