The Bengals’ season is on the line tonight against the Steelers. If these three things happen, then I give Cincinnati a legitimate chance to upset Pittsburgh.
Establish Joe Mixon early and often
The Bengals are 20-1-2 when the Bengals rush for 150 yards or more during the Andy Dalton era. Mixon got going last week when he ran for 114 yards against the Browns. Can he do it against the Steelers? It starts with the offensive line. Andre Smith, Clint Boling and Russell Bodine played well last week. If that trend continues against the Steelers, then maybe the Bengals’ offense can run through Mixon.
Get the ball to A.J. Green
The Steelers have allowed five touchdowns of 50 yards or more over the past three weeks. Their secondary has given up big plays. The Bengals’ have struggled to get the ball to their best player consistently. That can’t be the case tonight. Green should have 10+ targets, regardless of how the Steelers are guarding him. If the Bengals are going to go down, why not go down with your best players getting the ball?
Vontaze Burfict plays like the game wrecker he can be
Burfict has dominated at times this season. He was great in Denver. He was a big reason they beat the Bills. That guy needs to show up tonight. He had 25 tackles and 1.5 sacks against Denver and Buffalo. The Bengals’ defense is elite when Burfict is playing at that level. The Steelers are going to give the ball to Le’Veon Bell 25-30 times tonight. Burfict could limit Bell’s effectiveness. If he’s able to do that, then maybe we’re talking about a 6-6 team coming off of it’s biggest win in two years. If not, a lot of us will turn our attention to the offseason.
Mo and I previewed Bengals vs Steelers earlier today on Cincy 3:60.
You can listen to a comprehensive preview with Jon Ledyard from Locked on Steelers here.
Three thoughts from the Bengals' win over the Browns.
I talked with former Browns and Bengals wide receiver Andrew Hawkins.
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