3 reasons the Bengals will beat the Steelers in Week 3
Ja’Marr Chase’s big-play ability could stretch the Pittsburgh defense.
Pittsburgh’s defense is allowing nearly 400 yards per game and 21 points per contest. The Steelers’ total yardage given up suggests they could give up more than 21 points per game. Cincinnati’s offense will need to take advantage of amble yardage if they are consistently moving the ball.
The play-calling for the Bengals has been pretty conservative, especially versus the Bears. That will need to change on Sunday. Cincinnati cannot continuously run the ball against a defense that is only allowing 84.5 rushing yards per game, good for 10th in the NFL. This would only put them in a hole consistently, making it difficult to move the ball.
Cincinnati will need to pass a little more this week. How that’s done will be challenging due to the Steelers’ great pass rush. Some explosive plays could prevent Pittsburgh from blitzing frequently and could stretch their defense out, allowing more room for running the ball.
The clear deep threat for the Bengals right now is the rookie receiver, Ja’Marr Chase. Chase in two games has already had a 50-yard touchdown and a 42-yard touchdown. Throughout the draft process, his ability to create big plays was one of his best skillsets. While both big plays this season have been deep shots, Chase has good run-after-the-catch ability, everything does not have to be a ball that travels 40 yards in the air.
There’s good reasoning to think Chase could break a big play or two versus the Steelers. His route running has been very good through two games. As seen here against the Vikings’ Patrick Peterson. Keep in mind Peterson just trailed DeAndre Hopkins and held him to 54 yards.
For Chase to break some big plays, the Bengals need to be more aggressive early on. When Chase has been targeted down the field, he is making plays. The Bengals simply need to start using Chase at full capacity, which includes throwing more deep shots.
Once again, the Steelers pass rush is great. However, Joe Burrow can be given more time with some extra help in pass protection. Zac Taylor, Cincinnati’s Head Coach, did say he feels they have a good plan to deal with the Steeler pass rush.
If Chase generates some big plays, Cincinnati will likely move the ball pretty well. Their run game can open up a bit more if the Steelers are weary of a deep shot in early down situations. Typically explosive plays lead to wins, Chase has the chance to do that against the Steelers.