MNF PREVIEW: BENGALS AT THE STEELERS (WEEK 4)!

CINCI BENGALS @ PITT STEELERS (-3 or -3 1/2) ~ TOTAL: (45)

Well the TV Gods surely didn’t expect this tonight with two Division rivals both entering this game still in search of Win #1. But that’s the case as two teams (0-3) and both struggling badly missing some very key pieces. The Steelers have completely dominated this Series so far, winning 16 of the last 19 meetings. But those were the days of Big Ben at the QB spot, and with so many other elite studs also on their roster for those affairs. Gone is Bell, Brown, Shazier and now Big Ben won’t be suiting up for tonight’s rivalry game in the AFC North.

Let’s start with the Steelers and where their problems arise the most. And no folks it’s not on the Offensive side of the ball with Big Ben gone, it’s the Defense that has simply gotten an F Grade so far this season. They have allowed 85 points. All 3 QB’s they have faced so far have thrown for at least 277 Passing yards, making the Steel City Defense 3rd worst in the NFL vs. Pass. They have allowed 918 Total Passing Yards, but really what is worse is the 74% Pass completions allowed. They have allowed 76 passed to be completed so far, 6th most in the NFL.

Now this Struggling Pitt Defense will face the Bengals Offense that is 2nd in Pass Attempts and 2nd in Passing yards (thru 3 games by QB Andy Dalton). The Bengals Dalton is completing 73% of his passes so far, basically the exact same amount as the Steelers porous Defense is allowing. The Steelers run game Defense also has been bad, but so far the Bengals Offense has been just brutal rushing the ball. Prior to last week’s game vs. the Bills, Bengals top RB Mixon was averaging only (1.6) yards per carry. He did perk that up a tad with 61 rushing yards last week vs. a good Bills Defense (his most in one game all year).

What’s amazing is the Bengals Defense has allowed only 54 completed Passes so far. But they have allowed 83 points, while scoring only 54 all season themselves. They won’t have to face Big Ben, but they will face a young QB in Rudolph, who got his first NFL start under his belt last week, doing a decent job overall, with 174 pass yards and 2 TD passes. The Steelers though clearly miss Antonio Brown, as now #1 WR JuJu Smith-Schuster is simply not providing the #1 type numbers this team desperately needs. JuJu has 243 total receiving yards, but 76 came on one play. With Butterfingers at the #2 WR spot (D. Moncrief) dropping every pass he gets a shot to catch, JuJu must return to his elite level of last year or this Offense is in severe trouble of falling to (0-4).

All teams have bad injuries, but the Bengals losing stud WR AJ Green is a killer. Now the Defensive side of the ball for the Bengals will enter tonight missing 3 key members of it’s Defensive Unit, with DE Lawson, DE Wynn and DT Glasgow all out for tonight’s contest.

None of the numbers are good for the Bengals team when facing the Steelers these past 6-7 seasons. Dalton is (3-12) as a Starter vs. the Steelers. The Bengals are (1-11) vs. NFC North opponents. They are only (6-15) in prime time TV games since 2011. They are only (2-5) on MNF. The good news is they were very competitive in the season opening loss to undefeated Seattle, and then last week they led the Bills, until a final Bills drive for a TD cost them their first win of the season.

The loser here is looking at (0-4) and really no chance at making the Playoffs. That alone, with this longtime rivalry always bringing out the best by both teams, and who know we might get a fun one to watch. I won’t be playing it. The other 3 new Head Coaches in search of their first win yesterday all failed to get it. Now Bengals new HC Zac Taylor gets his shot. It’s been the weekend of the Dogs barking, so that is good news possibly for Bengals fans tonight.

Have a great new week ahead as we bring in October and the start of the NHL season too this week. Also the MLB Playoffs as well which makes for some busy sports day and night now for the next month. Enjoy the games and may all your wagers be winning ones.

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