Bengals: 3 keys to victory vs. Steelers in Week 3

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images) /
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Cincinnati Bengals
Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Here we go! The rivalry between the Cincinnati Bengals and Pittsburgh Steelers is once again ignited for the 2021 season this Sunday. With Ben Roethlisberger questionable for Sunday’s game, Mason Rudolph could be the starter.

Either way, the preparation does not change for either quarterback. The Steelers have shown they are not the same team, especially offense, of years ago. This is a winnable game for the Bengals, albeit a tough one. Here is how they can win.

O-Line must protect Burrow

Protecting the quarterback seems to be self-explanatory for any game plan. The Bengals really struggled against the elite pass rush of Chicago in Soldier Field on Sunday’s 20-17 loss. It took Burrow and the offense a long while to get going eventually fighting back into the game but ultimately losing.

The Steelers have the same ability as Chicago to make Sunday another nightmare for Burrow. T.J. Watt and Cameron Heyward coming from the edge, pressure will be coming from all sides. With pressure, also comes hurried throws, which can result in picks for the Steelers’ corners and safeties especially Pro Bowl ones like Minkah Fitzpatrick and if Joe Haden is healthy.

Burrow threw three picks on three consecutive passes against the Bears due to pressure. If he does this against a more competent offense like the Steelers they could be more likely to capitalize on these mistakes and really put the game out of reach.

Burrow has been sacked nine times this season already, on pace for 76.5 sacks for the season (NFL Record) with four of those coming against the Bears. We all knew the offensive line was the weak link, and it is showing.

Until they can get it fixed, Burrow won’t have time to throw, nor will they be able to establish the run and open the passing game. Leading to having to play catch up in many games this season, which is not a recipe for success.