Champs and chumps from Bengals Week 12 loss to Steelers

  • Chump: Run Game
  • Champ: Ja'Marr Chase
  • Chump: Defense

Pittsburgh Steelers v Cincinnati Bengals
Pittsburgh Steelers v Cincinnati Bengals / Andy Lyons/GettyImages
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Chumps

Joe Mixon and the entire run game

I guess this entry could just be Joe Mixon since he and Browning were the only ones to run with the ball. The Bengals run game (or lack thereof) finished with just 11 carries for 25 yards while averaging 2.3 yards per carry. This isn't good no matter how you look at it but it's especially bad when you consider that the Bengals are relying on a backup quarterback right now.

The run game is going to have to get better if this team wants to win another game this season. Burrow can win games without a good run game but Browning probably won't be able to.

Run Defense

Speaking of run games, the Steelers' run game was a well-oiled machine. They finished the game with 33 carries for 153 yards and one touchdown. Najee Harris had 99 yards and a touchdown off of 15 carries and Jaylen Warren had 13 carries for 49 yards.

The Bengals defense allowed the Steelers to average 4.6 yards per carry and pretty much let them do whatever they wanted when they took off with the football. This has been an area where the Bengals have struggled all season so it's not a surprise at this point but it's still beyond frustrating that with all of this talent, the Bengals can't be better against the run.

Pass Defense

Let's stay on the defense here. Lou Anarumo could have his own category after how his defense has played in the three losses but ultimately, it's up to the players to execute and make their tackles. The Bengals defense has been more concerned with trying to strip the football than tackling the player with the football.

Anyway, let's talk about the passing defense. The Steelers offense had not totaled over 400 yards in 59 games, according to the broadcast. Want to guess how many yards they had this week?

If you said 421 yards, you'd be correct! Again, the Steelers, who had been anemic on offense, managed to put up 421 yards on this Bengals defense. The passing defense continued to allow multiple explosive plays and after more than a game where the problem lingers, it's no longer a temporary issue, but a major concern.

Next up for the Bengals is a trip to Jacksonville for a Monday night showdown with the 8-3 Jaguars. What once looked like a fun primetime game is probably not going to be so fun anymore.

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