This weekend in the NFL it’s a playoff type atmosphere as the Pittsburgh Steelers take on the Cincinnati Bengals with both teams playoff lives on the line. And the featured performers for both teams are their quarterbacks as the Steelers Ben Rothlisberger goes up against the Bengals Andy Dalton. Let’s take a look at how the 2 compare going against the other one’s team head to head.
Dalton and Roethlisberger have faced each other 3 times, all 3 have been Steelers wins. In those games, Roethlisberger has completed around 68% of his passes, averaged about 281 yards per game and has 4tds and 2ints in the games.
To compare, Dalton has not fared so well. 3 losses, 49% completion rate and 137 yards per game with 3 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. The disparity between the 2 quarterbacks is astounding and cannot be denied.
Earlier in the week I predicted the Steelers would find a way to win this game and keep their playoff hopes alive. The information here is a big part of the reason why. The Steelers defense has owned Dalton his his 3 games against them, and Roethlisberger has feasted on the Bengals defense to the tune of 3 wins. At this point I have to take history into strong consideration and until Dalton can show he can stand up to the Steelers defense, I see no reason to pick against the Steelers.
If Dalton wants to improve on his record against the Steelers, it will be by targeting start wide receiver AJ Green early and often. Green is one of the best young receivers in the league and the Bengals depth at wide receiver is thin, so Green will be the target. If Roethlisberger wants to continue his run against the Bengals he’s going to have to really push the ball downfield to his speedy wide receiver targets Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown. If the Steelers offensive line can hold up they should be able to get open. Roethlisberger has been very accurate against the Bengals, so all he needs is a little space and he’ll get them the football.
The advantage in this matchup is overwhelmingly Roethlisberger. That doesn’t automatically mean the Steelers will beat the Bengals, but I have no doubt Roethlisberger will out play Dalton on Sunday.