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Cincinnati Bengals vs Pittsburgh Steelers

Followers of the Black-and-gold take reputable pleasure within the legacy of Arthur J. Rooney, Sr. and his household, which have offered unusual stability and consistency for the Pittsburgh Steelers’ group via the years. However in distinction to the Steelers’ six NFL championships in the course of the previous 5 many years, the story of the Cincinnati Bengals throughout the identical interval has been certainly one of continuous frustration, sometimes bordering on abject hopelessness.
Conceived by the immortal Paul Brown, former head coach of the Cleveland Browns whose groups received three league championships in the course of the 1950-1955 interval, the Bengals had been certainly one of 10 franchises within the former American Soccer League (AFL) which merged with the NFL in 1970. Brown served within the twin function of group proprietor and the unique head coach of the Bengals from 1968 to 1975. After 1975, Brown continued in his function as franchise proprietor till his demise in 1991. His son, Mike Brown, inherited the Bengals upon his father’s demise and he’s continued because the group’s proprietor since that point.
If we contemplate the yr 1970 as the start of professional soccer’s trendy period, the general information of the Steelers and the Bengals within the years since then may hardly distinction extra sharply. Whereas Pittsburgh was compiling its treasured assortment of a half-dozen Lombardi trophies and showing in eight Tremendous Bowls, Cincinnati appeared in solely two Tremendous Bowls (XVI and XXIII), dropping each video games to the San Francisco 49ers led by western Pennsylvania legend, Joe Montana.
Starting with their 1991 season, the Bengals went 14 years with out posting a successful document and even making the playoffs. Throughout this era of futility, the group had a number of head coaches and Cincinnati has had a complete of 9 head coaches since 1969, in comparison with Pittsburgh’s three. When an NFL group experiences this a lot adversity over quite a lot of years—because the Steelers had carried out for many years previous to the arrival of Chuck Noll—the blame sometimes falls on the entrance workplace. Not surprisingly, a large majority of Cincinnati sports activities followers and pundits brazenly blame Mike Brown for this recurring story which invariably has a pitiful ending. Driving this level dwelling with emphasis, Enterprise Insider gave Brown the doubtful distinction in 2011 of naming him amongst its “16 Worst Homeowners in Sports activities.”
Andy Dalton leads his offensive unit into Heinz Area on Sunday as the present inheritor to Cincinnati’s historic procession of highly-regarded quarterbacks that, in some way, by no means succeeded in rising above the foibles of their group. The names Ken Anderson, Boomer Esiason and Carson Palmer are extensively revered in pro-football circles, and it’s not tough to think about any of these former Cincinnati quarterbacks sporting Tremendous Bowl rings right now, had they been drafted by organizations comparable to Pittsburgh, Dallas, San Francisco or Oakland. And for 5 consecutive seasons after Dalton was drafted in 2011, the Bengals reached the playoffs every season, cruelly tempting their followers to entertain championship hopes. In every playoff look, they promptly fell on their faces.
However Dalton’s failure to this point to change into the quarterback that Cincinnati followers initially envisioned him to be is barely the most recent chapter in an previous and intensely irritating story within the Queen Metropolis. Simply because it’s been stated that Washington is the town the place your tax go to vanish, Cincinnati has earned the popularity of a metropolis the place NFL quarterbacks go to destroy.
All the above explains why, in the event that they accomplish nothing extra in the course of the 2017 common season, the Bengals will expertise their very own privateTremendous Bowl” in the event that they’re in a position to journey into city on Sunday and beat the Steelers—a company that represents every part they’ve longed for however by no means have been in a position to obtain in the course of the previous 5 many years. As they sometimes do, you may depend on the Bengals to drag out all the stops of their single-minded devotion to Pittsburgh’s demise within the AFC North.
This brings us to the query of what the Steelers should do on Sunday afternoon and night to ship Cincinnati again dwelling with one more bitter style of their mouths. Let’s check out the Three Keys to Victory for Pittsburgh:

Key No. 1: Stress Dalton by way of an aggressive pass-rush

In many years previous, the Steelers often have had Cincinnati’s quantity—not essentially as a result of their quarterbacks had been poor—however as a result of they didn’t have time within the pocket to seek out their receivers. Whereas any quarterback clearly is rattled by an aggressive pass-rush, Dalton could also be extra inclined to strain than his predecessors in black-and-orange. In fairly a couple of video games throughout his profession, defensive strain has solely discombobulated Dalton, and the ensuing turnovers have scuttled Cincinnati’s ship. The phrase on the road is that the Bengals’ offensive line hasn’t been in a position to open many holes to assist the working sport to this point this season. Assuming that’s true, it’s all of the extra purpose why strain on passing downs shall be a key for Pittsburgh.

Key No. 2: Steelers’ offense should capitalize within the red-zone

The longer Pittsburgh continues to misfire on its red-zone alternatives—or settles for discipline objectives as a substitute of TDs—the larger the chance that they’ll come out on the quick finish of an in depth sport in opposition to a group they need to beat. If Ben Roethlisberger and his offense wish to show they “nonetheless have it,” there’s no higher method than by turning discipline place on Sunday into touchdowns.

Key No. three: Run the ball successfully with Le’Veon Bell

Final Sunday in Kansas Metropolis, the Steelers proved they may run the ball—virtually at will—in opposition to a stable protection. If they'll preserve this floor assault going at Heinz Area on Sunday, it’ll make their passing assault all of the simpler. Which means ringing the Bell early and sometimes.
GO STEELERS!
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