Under-the-radar Bengals vs. Steelers – No. 1: B.J. Hill
The Bengals do have some good matchups against the Steelers for Week 3. Cincinnati’s defensive line has created headaches for opponents in the first two weeks of the year. Trey Hendrickson seems worth the money so far, Sam Hubbard has played well, and the interior defensive line has been monstrous.
B.J. Hill was acquired from the New York Giants in a trade involving Billy Price. Hill has been an instant impact in Cincinnati, providing depth at defensive tackle. He is the fourth-highest graded interior defensive linemen in the NFL right now.
Interestingly, Hill has not played a lot so far. His snap percentage has been quite low, but that’s likely due to his new arrival and Josh Tupou’s good start.
Even in limited snaps, Hill has wreaked havoc in both the run and especially as a pass rusher. Here’s one play where Hill made quick work of an offensive lineman, resulting in a sack.
The Steelers offensive line is 27th in the NFL is pass block win rate, creating a favorable matchup for Hill. In addition, Pittsburgh’s starting center Kendrick Green currently has a PFF grade of 59.2, Kevin Dotson, the Steelers’ starting left guard, has a PFF grade of only 57.2, and the veteran starting right guard Trai Turner only has a PFF grade of 59.3.
Clearly, Hill, and really the whole interior defensive line, has a chance to eat against the Steelers. Cincinnati will want to create pressure, making the injured Roethlisberger uncomfortable. This would surely slow down the opposing passing attack.
If the right players perform on Sunday, the Bengals have a decent shot of winning against the Steelers. Playing in Pittsburgh is tough, Cincinnati will need players to rise to the occasion.