Bengals: Keys to Beating Super Bowl Champs
After losing last week to the Chicago Bears, you know Pittsburgh is going to come into Cincinnati hungry and ready to play.
The Bengals have got to fix their mistakes from a close win last week and make sure they hold their home field better than last time they played at Paul Brown Stadium against the Broncos.
In order for the Bengals to beat the former Super Bowl Champs, they have to come in firing on all cylinders.
They can't shoot themselves in the foot with penalties like last week, and quarterback Carson Palmer has to make sure he gets the ball to his receivers and not the Steelers' defense.
This is certainly a winnable game for the Bengals because they have a lot of talent, but they have got to play 60 minutes of smash-mouth football instead of two or three quarters.
The Bengals' running game looks like they're picking it up from the 2005 season, and the they are undefeated when Cedric Benson rushes for over 100 yards. It is extremely important for Cincy to establish the run early and try to make it easier on Palmer in the passing game.
The biggest thing I haven’t seen the Bengals transition from preseason to regular season is the use of Chris Henry. He was the MVP of this offense in the preseason, but they haven’t used him like they should in the slot.
There has been talk about him being injured, but he has been coming on the field. I would really like to see the Bengals get him the ball, and in return I think it will open up other mismatches they can capitalize on.
Another player I’d like to see more of this game and more throughout the season is young Bernard Scott. It’s going to be a tough day for the offense going against one of the best defenses in the NFL, and they will need fresh legs.
Defensively, they have got to watch the Steelers' running game. It hasn’t been there and the Steelers haven’t been as productive without it. They might look to try and force the run in this game. If Cincy is worried about the pass too much then they will get burned.
I look for Antwan Odom to be a huge factor in this game. He drew a lot of eyes last week by recording five sacks, and the Steelers want to make sure this doesn’t happen to them.
I wouldn’t be surprised if they try and double team him, and it would be a mistake not to watch rookie Michael Johnson or Robert Geathers on the other end.
The Packers exposed the alkali’s heal of the Bengals safeties in the fact that they’re great in run support, but they haven’t been great at shutting receivers down.
This is a concern when you have two Super Bowl MVPs lined up at the receiver position on the other side of the ball.
The best way to cover Santonio Holmes and Heinz Ward is to make sure you disrupt everything with the pass rush. Ben Roethlisberger is known for extending the play, and the defense simply can’t let him do it.
They have been great at getting pressure on Kyle Orton and Aaron Rodgers, but they need to take it a little bit further this week in order to mess up Big Ben’s timing.
Special teams are also always a factor in games like this, and if Quan Cosby can have a game like he did last week, then it will help the Bengals just that much more.
Roethlisberger is undefeated when he has returned to his home state of Ohio, and the Bengals have got to do what it takes to make it a not so happy homecoming.
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