3 reasons the Bengals will beat the Steelers in Week 3
The Cincinnati Bengals have been underdogs in the first two games this season, which will remain the same in Week 3 against the Steelers. According to WynnBET, Pittsburgh is a 4.5-point favorite at home against the Bengals. Once again, Cincinnati will need to prove the naysayers wrong in Week 3 of play, but can they do it?
Several things certainly went wrong for Cincinnati in Week 2 versus the Chicago Bears. However, that does not completely overshadow their season-opening win against the Vikings. The Bengals can prove they will improve in the win column this season with a win at Pittsburgh.
The challenge against the rival divisional opponent will be a tough one for the Bengals, but the Steelers do not outmatch them everywhere on the field. Cincinnati does have some advantages or favorable matchups against the Steelers, which will give them a fighting chance in Pittsburgh. Here are three areas that can fuel a Cincinnati victory against the Steelers.
The Cincinnati Bengals’ pass rush could wreck the Steelers’ game plan
The Bengals made a clear effort to upgrade their pass rush on the defensive end during the offseason. So far, that determination to make more opposing quarterbacks uncomfortable has paid off.
Some outside of Cincinnati questioned if the Bengals perhaps overpaid Trey Hendrickson. Well, as of now, Hendrickson looks worth every single penny in two games. He is on track to have another great season after his breakout season with the Saints last season.
In addition, the Bengal could argue they have one of the best interior defensive line interiors in the NFL right now with three within PFF’s top 11 highest-graded interior defensive linemen.
So how will the defensive line fare against the Steelers’ pass protection? Pittsburgh’s team pass block win rate is 27th at only 45%. Meanwhile, Cincinnati’s team pass rush win rate is curiously 28th in the NFL at only 36%. This is surprising since the Bengals’ pass rush has been pretty good at generating pressure with little blitzing.
Whether ESPN’s 36% pass rush win rate for Cincinnati is an anomaly or not will be proved this Sunday. Right now, it seems the Bengals’ pass rush win rate should probably be higher. For reference, Hendrickson has been consistently causing pressure, as mentioned earlier.
With that said, the Bengals’ recent pass rushing has been improved, without a doubt. Cincinnati’s defense is 12th allowing 22 points per game and sixth in yards allowed per game at 304.5 yards per game. The defense has been good, the defense’s main strengths right now are safety play and the defensive line, especially their pass rush.
Ben Roethlisberger is dealing with an injury, if he does not play, then Dwayne Haskins will be the starter. The pass rush can make the injured Roethlisberger uncomfortable or could rattle the backup Haskins. The pass rush will be a huge piece of this divisional matchup.
The Bengals pass rush has been great, which can certainly continue in Week 3. If the trend does continue, Cincinnati is going to have a great shot of winning.