4. Pittsburgh Steelers
The Pittsburgh Steelers were ninth in rushing yards and tenth in points allowed last season. The hated AFC North rival allowed the third-fewest points amongst Cincinnati’s 2023 opponents.
Pittsburgh has two of the best pass rushers in T.J. Watt and Alex Highsmith. Watt had a down year last season while dealing with an injury. When Watt was out, Highsmith asserted himself and became a dominant pass rusher in his own right finishing the season with 14.5 sacks which was sixth-best in the NFL.
The pressure the Steelers’ defense got on opposing quarterbacks helped lead to 20 interceptions, which tied for the best mark. Safety Minkah Fitzpatrick finished the season with six interceptions, which tied for the most in the NFL.
The Bengals struggled against the Steelers in the season opener last year. The offense surrendered seven sacks, and Burrow threw four interceptions. The Bengals’ QB had a rating of 61.7, which was by far his worst of the season.
Burrow and the offense bounced back big time in their second encounter putting 37 points on the board, four passing touchdowns, and 355 passing yards. Hopefully, when the two teams meet in 2023, both games will look more like the latter than the former.
Cincinnati will take on Pittsburgh in Weeks 12 and 16 of the season.