The Cincinnati Bengals kick off the most anticipated season of their storied history this Sunday afternoon against the hated Pittsburgh Steelers. The tides turned between these two teams last year, as the Bengals swept the Steelers and blew them out in both games.
This year is going to be a huge test for Pittsburgh, as they’ll be without Ben Roethlisberger for the first time since 2004. Sure there were seasons where Big Ben missed time due to injuries but this is the first time that he won’t be on their roster at all.
If Big Ben isn’t taking the snaps for the Steelers, who will?
It appears that former No. 2 overall pick Mitch Trubisky will get the nod to start over first-round rookie Kenny Pickett.
Cincinnati Bengals will face Mitch Trubisky in Week 1
This isn’t really a surprise. It always felt that Trubisky would be the one starting at quarterback at least in the season opener. The former second overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft didn’t pan out in Chicago and is always going to have to hear about how Patrick Mahomes should have been picked ahead of him.
After the Bears didn’t retain Trubisky, he backed up Josh Allen in Buffalo last year and then hit the free-agent market with a fresh mindset. The Steelers signed him with the expectation of starting him until Pickett was ready to go.
With Pickett getting bumped up to the backup role, Mason Rudolph is now the third-stringer and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him end up elsewhere this year.
The Bengals are 6.5-point favorites over Pittsburgh this Sunday per FanDuel and that’s not surprising considering the hype they’ve received. While the Steelers aren’t in a great situation this year, Mike Tomlin has proven himself to be one of the best coaches in the league and the team is still going to be competitive. They always are.