TALE OF THE TAPE

Week 7: Pittsburgh Steelers At Cincinnati Bengals

Steelers
Bengals
(Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
Cincinnati Bengals v Cleveland Browns
(Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
Quarterback
Winner Even though Ben Roethlisberger has won two Super Bowls in his career, he doesn’t seem to get credit for being one of the elite quarterbacks in the game. Roethlisberger has incredible size and strength, but when the game is on the line in the fourth quarter, Roethlisberger can put the ball on the money and make decisive plays.
The Bengals appeared to be on track for a winning season, but painful losses to the Dolphins and the Browns have shaken this team’s confidence. Andy Dalton is a solid athlete who seems to understand what NFL defenses are going to do to try to slow down his team and realizes what it takes to defeat them. However, he has to lift his team up and get them out of their funk.
Offense
Winner The Steelers got a scare when running back Rashard Mendenhall had to come out of the Week Six game against Tennessee with what appeared to be an Achilles injury. It does not appear to be serious and he should play against the Bengals. He is a solid power runner with a burst. Wide receiver Mike Wallace has explosive speed.
Winner BenJarvus Green-Ellis is the kind of running back who can run hard between the tackles and wear down a defense. However, the big-play performers on the Bengals offense are wide receiver A.J. Green and Andrew Hawkins. Green is a spectacular athlete who can go up and over the defense and come down with great balance. Hawkins is a speedster who can rip apart the defense.
Defense
Winner The Steelers have been solid on defense for much of the season. While they could not hold off Tennessee’s late charge in the Week Six 26-23 loss, the Steelers rank 4th in pass defense and are 5th in total defense. However, the Steelers are not likely to be at their best because it looks like safety Troy Polamalu (calf) will likely miss the game. Polamalu has only played two games this season.
The Bengals are having problems stopping the pass. One of the reasons is the lack of pass rush. Defensive end Robert Geathers had a sack in the Bengals’ loss to Cleveland and he’s one of the team’s few defensive linemen who can turn a game around with his pass rush ability. Domata Peko and Geno Atkins are solid run stuffers.
Special Teams
The Steelers are happy with Shaun Suisham at the placekicker position. He has made 11-of-12 field goal attempts this season. Punter Drew Butler does not great distance on his kicks and he is averaging 42.4 yards per punt.
Winner The Bengals are getting solid production from Mike Nugent. He has made 10-of-11 field goal attempts this season, but he is not among the top long-distance placekickers in the game. Kevin Huber is averaging 45.0 yards per punt.

The Winner Is

(Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
Winner Steelers
3 out of 4

This is a key game for the Bengals. They are mentally deflated after losing back-to-back games to the Dolphins and Browns. If they are going to get their season back on track, they need to play a good game against an excellent team. The Steelers let a road game get away against Tennessee and head coach Mike Tomlin needs to get his team prepared for this division rival.

MORE TALES OF THE TAPE

  1. EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 25:  Odell Beckham #13 of the New York Giants breaks a tackle by Josh Norman #24 of the Washington Redskins in the second half at MetLife Stadium on September 25, 2016 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 25:   Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers runs the ball against Everson Griffen #97 and Tom Johnson #92 of the Minnesota Vikings in the 1st half during their game at Bank of America Stadium on September 25, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
    Week 4 Tale Of The Tape: New York Giants At Minnesota Vikings

    The Vikings defense has annihilated every opponent so far. Can they do it to the explosive Giants offense this week?

  2. KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 25: Center Mitch Morse #61 of the Kansas City Chiefs prepares to snap the ball to Alex Smith #11 at Arrowhead Stadium during the second quarter of the game against the New York Jets on September 25, 2016 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images) PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 25: Quarterback  Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers passes against  Bennie Logan #96 of the Philadelphia Eagles in the fourth quarter at Lincoln Financial Field on September 25, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
    Week 4 Tale Of The Tape: Kansas City Chiefs At Pittsburgh Steelers

    The Chiefs and Steelers battle it out in a match-up of AFC playoff contenders.

  3. ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 25:  Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys throws against the Chicago Bears in the fourth quarter at AT&T Stadium on September 25, 2016 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 25:  Running back Carlos Hyde #28 of the San Francisco 49ers rushes for a touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field on September 25, 2016 in Seattle, Washington. The Seahawks defeated the 49ers 37-18.  (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
    Week 4 Tale Of The Tape: Dallas Cowboys At San Francisco 49ers

    The Cowboys have been rolling with rookie QB Dak Prescott and RB Ezekiel Elliott. They look to continue that momentum this week.

See All Tales of the Tape

More From CBS Pittsburgh

Bringing You The Best in Sports Talk Radio
New Podcast Network
Learn How

Listen Live