Laying the table: How the Cincinnati Bengals can beat the Steelers
Time for Anarumo to get exotic with the defensive front
The Bengals have had major problems with their defensive line. Carlos Dunlap’s departure was needed for team morale but it leaves a lack of talent. Sam Hubbard’s injury means the pass rush is essentially on the shoulders of Carl Lawson.
Another week away from the action for Geno Atkins will hopefully spark him into action. If not, there will be genuine concern over whether he can ever get it back. If that’s the case then the Bengals and under fire defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo must show some ingenuity.
The Bengals have been extremely vanilla on defense. Sitting back in coverage and going with the four-man rush too often. Against the Steelers, they need to be aggressive and that starts with calling more blitzes.
They have strong run and chase defenders who can locate and tackle well. That should be utilized against the Steelers passing game. Logan Wilson, Josh Bynes, Vonn Bell, and even Darius Phillips or Mackenzie Alexander from the slot need to be deployed to force Big Ben into throws.
Beating the Steelers is going to take some luck but more importantly, it’s going to take some out-of-the-box game planning. Anarumo needs to breathe life into this defense and make up for a tame front by scheming up some pressure.
If Roethlisberger is allowed time he will pick apart a secondary that is undermanned. The only chance to cause an upset lies is providing something unexpected for the Steelers to digest. Turnovers and defensive stops may be difficult to come by but just a few will give Burrow and the offense a glimmer of hope.