Bengals: 3 keys to victory vs. Steelers in Week 3
Pressure the QB and Stop the Run
One thing the Bengals did right in the offseason is beef up the defense, especially the defensive line. Last year the Bengals ranked 32nd in sacks with 17 for the entire season.
The new pass rush is working very well. Trey Hendrickson is showing he was worth every penny getting 1.5 sacks and 3 quarterback hits total against Chicago. B.J. Hill who was acquired right before the regular season via trade has also been impactful on the inside getting two sacks against the Vikings. He was kept quiet against the Bears, but he is still shaping up to have a good season.
Big Ben is older and does not have the escapability he used to have early in his career. If Reader, Hill, Hendrickson, Wilson, or Pratt can get into that backfield and pressure the Steelers signal-caller (whoever it may be), that’ll be a big help in stifling their offense. Moreover, getting into the backfield quickly will stop rookie Najee Harris from getting the run going forcing the Steelers off the field getting the Ball back into Burrow’s hands.
With the possibility that Roethlisberger is questionable, it could be Rudolph starting. The Oklahoma State product is younger and quicker on his feet. Even so, getting pressure on Rudolph will force him to make mistakes whether it’s trying to force throws he cannot make or taking sacks.
It has been a few years since the Bengals’ fearsome pass rush with Atkins, Dunlap, and Peko. Now, it finally seems like this might be the big bright spot of the Bengals this year as it used to be. This may be the biggest key to Bengal’s success all season like a domino effect. Getting the opponent off the field will allow the offense to have a greater chance of success.