|Last 3 Games||0-1||-2.3||0-1||0-1||9.0||2.0||195.0||(4.1)||2.0||16.0||7.0||229.0||(3.7)||0.0|
|Offense (All Games)||9.0||2.0||14.0||25:59||15-32||(2.1)||21-33||63.6%||163||(4.9)||48-195||(4.1)||(21.7)|
|Opponents Defensive Avg.||19.5||4.5||19.5||30:37||22-102||(4.7)||24-40||58.0%||222||(5.5)||62-324||(5.2)||(16.6)|
|Defense (All Games)||16.0||7.0||17.0||34:01||42-112||(2.7)||11-20||55.0%||117||(5.8)||62-229||(3.7)||(14.3)|
|Opponents Offensive Avg.||20||8.5||15.5||33:38||38-116||(3.1)||14-25||56.0%||123||(4.9)||62-238||(3.8)||(11.9)|
|Stats For (All Games)||1.0||1.0||2.0||-2.0||13-4||30.8%||1-1||100.0%||4-78||(19.5)||1-1||(1)||4-47|
|Opponents Avg. Stats Against||1.5||0.5||2||2||15-5||33.3%||0-0||100.0%||4-91||(22.7)||5-3||(1.7)||4-44|
|Stats Against (All Games)||0.0||0.0||0.0|| ||15-6||40.0%||1-1||100.0%||1-1||(1)||5-58||(11.6)||6-60|
|Opponents Avg. Stats For||0||0||0|| ||16-5||32.3%||1-0||50.0%||0-0||(1)||38-4||(8.4)||8-65|
|Last 3 Games||0-1||-1||0-0||1-0||21.0||14.0||340.0||(6.3)||3.0||24.0||10.0||323.0||(5.3)||1.0|
|Offense (All Games)||21.0||14.0||18.0||28:30||21-63||(3)||26-33||78.8%||277||(8.4)||54-340||(6.3)||(16.2)|
|Opponents Defensive Avg.||25.5||17.5||18.5||29:58||27-93||(3.4)||21-32||66.7%||252||(8)||58-345||(5.9)||(13.5)|
|Defense (All Games)||24.0||10.0||17.0||31:30||28-81||(2.9)||21-33||63.6%||242||(7.3)||61-323||(5.3)||(13.5)|
|Opponents Offensive Avg.||27.5||17||20.5||31:02||27-105||(3.9)||24-36||68.1%||262||(7.3)||63-367||(5.8)||(13.3)|
|Stats For (All Games)||2.0||1.0||3.0||-2.0||11-7||63.6%||0-0||0.0%||0-0||(0)||1-13||(13)||8-84|
|Opponents Avg. Stats Against||1.5||1.5||3||4||14-7||51.9%||1-1||100.0%||2-75||(37.5)||6-0||(13)||6-54|
|Stats Against (All Games)||1.0||0.0||1.0|| ||14-6||42.9%||1-1||100.0%||1-31||(31)||2-1||(0.5)||4-59|
|Opponents Avg. Stats For||2||1||3|| ||13-6||50.0%||0-0||100.0%||4-147||(42)||0-1||(0.5)||4-47|
|Average power rating of opponents played: PITTSBURGH 13, CINCINNATI 24|
|9/16/2013||@ CINCINNATI|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|9/22/2013||CHICAGO|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|9/29/2013||*MINNESOTA|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|10/13/2013||@ NY JETS|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|9/16/2013||PITTSBURGH|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|9/22/2013||GREEN BAY|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|9/29/2013||@ CLEVELAND|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|10/6/2013||NEW ENGLAND|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|10/13/2013||@ BUFFALO|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|PITTSBURGH: The Steelers remained pass-heavy under offensive coordinator Todd Haley last year, running out of a lot of spread looks. They essentially use the pass to set up the run, with the backs running almost exclusively between the tackles. They'll rotate backs again this year, with rookie Le'Veon Bell likely to emerge as a lead back. Jonathan Dwyer is less versatile than Bell and could be on his way out of Pittsburgh. Isaac Redman and LaRod Stephens-Howling figure to split passing-down duties in the early going, though Stephens-Howling could end up taking the role full-time at some point.
Haley brought more spread looks to Pittsburgh's offense. They go no-huddle frequently, with Ben Roethlisberger trusted to run the offense. Antonio Brown is now their undisputed No. 1 receiver, with the ability to be used deep or as a catch-and-run guy. Emmanuel Sanders is more of a possession receiver and will likely share No. 2 targets with TE Heath Miller. Jerricho Cotchery should see solid playing time as their slot guy, and while rookie Markus Wheaton will be eased in, he should end up seeing significant snaps as their best deep threat. Only the Saints skewed more pass-heavy in goal-to-go situations than Pittsburgh (64.6% of snaps).
Despite a host of injuries in 2012, the Steelers still led the NFL in yardage defense (276 YPG) and passing defense (185 YPG), while finishing sixth in scoring defense (19.6 PPG). Rookie OLB Jarvis Jones makes the team younger and faster, as does CB Cortez Allen, 24, replacing the departed Keenan Lewis. Pittsburgh still has plenty of productive veterans though, like 32-year-old S Troy Polamalu and DE Brett Keisel, 34. Per usual, the team's linebackers are relentless, with OLB LaMarr Woodley and ILB Lawrence Timmons.|
|CINCINNATI: The Bengals have grown into offensive coordinator Jay Gruden's zone-blocking scheme nicely. Their offensive line, one of the NFL's best, should continue to improve this season. BenJarvus Green-Ellis should continue to take the majority of the work on first and second down. Rookie Giovani Bernard will be a change-of-pace and passing down back, although he could end up sharing that role with fellow rookie Rex Burkhead, who's considered to be more advanced in pass protection.
Gruden runs a West Coast offense, but it's a passing game that attacks downfield much more aggressively than most WCOs. Andy Dalton is a shaky decision maker with accuracy that comes and goes, but his willingness to let A.J. Green make plays in traffic is what makes this offense go. Green does most of his work on the perimeter and deep. The second read is usually slot receiver Andrew Hawkins, and they run some designed plays to get TE Jermaine Gresham the ball. Their No. 2 receiver is rarely used, and Bernard figures to be the only back that does more than pass protect. The Bengals were balanced in the red zone last year, including a 50/50 run/pass split in goal-to-go situations.
This underrated defense placed sixth in the NFL in total defense (320 YPG allowed) and ranked third in the league with 51 sacks, thanks to DT Geno Atkins (12.5 sacks) and DE Michael Johnson (11.5 sacks). In the second half of 2012, the Bengals allowed a paltry 12.8 PPG with 19 forced turnovers and three defensive touchdowns. New OLB James Harrison is familiar with AFC North opponents, and will help groom young LBs Vontaze Burfict and Rey Maualuga. The strong front seven allows the secondary to go after the football, collecting nearly as many INT (14) as TD passes allowed (16) last year.|
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER PRO FOOTBALL PREVIEW (PITTSBURGH-CINCINNATI) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
*Steelers-Bengals Preview* ==========================
By BRETT HUSTON STATS Editor
The Cincinnati Bengals felt like they let one get away in their season opener, blowing a double-digit lead in the second half of a performance full of turnovers and penalties.
They'll still head into Week 2 feeling much better than the Pittsburgh Steelers.
After losing three players for the season in their opener and looking inept offensively, the Steelers could have a difficult time continuing their road dominance of the Bengals in this Monday night reunion with former Defensive Player of the Year James Harrison.
The AFC North went 0 for 4 in Week 1, a surprisingly empty start from a division that's produced five playoff teams over the past two seasons.
The Bengals blew an 11-point third-quarter lead, turned it over three times and committed eight penalties - including linebacker Rey Maualuga's personal foul away from the play that allowed Chicago to run out the clock - in their 24-21 loss, but they were by far the North's most competitive team after clunkers from the Steelers, Browns and Ravens.
"Yeah, it helps ease it a little bit," defensive end Carlos Dunlap said. "But you can look at it the other way, too, and say we could've been one up."
Cincinnati linebacker Vontaze Burfict suffered a knee bruise, but it isn't believed to be serious. The Bengals head into Week 2 mostly healthy and may get left tackle Andrew Whitworth back after he sat out the opener with a knee injury.
The Steelers' injury report is a bit more extensive. Center Maurkice Pouncey tore the ACL and MCL in his right knee on the team's first drive, linebacker Larry Foote ruptured his biceps and running back LaRod Stephens-Howling also tore an ACL in Pittsburgh's 16-9 home loss to Tennessee.
With utility lineman Kelvin Beachum having to come in to replace Pouncey for his first NFL action at center, the Steelers' offense managed 195 total yards - including 32 on 15 carries - and didn't score until 1:23 remained.
"We've got a lot of work to do," coach Mike Tomlin said. "Nobody cares about our problems. They're glad we've got them. We need to understand that. We need to stick together and persevere."
One Bengal who figures to be particularly unsympathetic to the Steelers' woes is Harrison, the five-time Pro Bowl linebacker and 2008 Defensive Player of the Year who the team released in March when the sides couldn't agree on a restructured deal.
Harrison, fined six times for a total of $125,000 from 2010-11 for hits the league deemed illegal or unnecessary, said in April he wasn't upset.
"I don't have a chip on my shoulder against the Steelers," Harrison said. "I don't hate the Steelers. All the things they're saying, that the media is blowing it up to be ... am I disappointed? Yeah, I'm disappointed."
He was limited to one tackle in the loss to the Bears, but Tomlin is expecting a locked-in Harrison on Monday.
"We all know how James plays," Tomlin said. "He brings physicality to the table, he's a guy who brings great passion and he can inspire his teammates."
The Steelers, looking to avoid their first 0-2 start since 2002, certainly fared well in Cincinnati when Harrison was wearing black and gold. They've won 11 of their last 12 at Paul Brown Stadium, including last season's 24-17 victory there Oct. 21 behind Jonathan Dwyer's 122 yards on 17 carries.
Pittsburgh released Dwyer in its final round of cuts, but re-signed him Monday after Stephens-Howling's injury and Isaac Redman's struggles. Redman is expected to start in Cincinnati, but Dwyer should get some time with rookie Le'Veon Bell likely out at least another month with a foot injury.
The Steelers have run for at least 100 yards in all 29 of their victories against Cincinnati since 1993.
"I think a consistent running game is really important, not only to be good offensively, but to strike a balance," Tomlin said. "We haven't been able to do that to this point."
The Bengals fared well against the run in Chicago, holding the Bears to 2.9 yards per carry, but they did allow a pair of 80-yard scoring drives after taking a 21-10 lead.
Cincinnati's offense did even better sustaining drives. The Bengals marched for touchdowns of 97, 91 and 80 yards against what was the NFL's fifth-rated defense last season.
"They didn't stop us one time," said receiver A.J. Green, who had nine catches for 162 yards and two touchdowns. "They didn't really stop us on offense. We were doing whatever we wanted. The biggest thing we had was turnovers."
The Andy Dalton-Green connection has been oddly quiet in Cincinnati against cornerback Ike Taylor and the Steelers. Green has totaled two catches in a pair of home games versus Pittsburgh, though both were for touchdowns.
Green has 17 catches, 203 yards and 29 targets in two games in Pittsburgh, including 10 grabs in Cincinnati's 13-10 win at Heinz Field in December that eliminated the Steelers from playoff contention. That was the same game Pittsburgh tight end Heath Miller tore his ACL.
Miller, Ben Roethlisberger's top target last season with 71 receptions and eight TDs, has been practicing and could make his season debut Monday.
|Last Updated: 9/2/2014 11:18:28 AM EST|