The Cincinnati Bengals go on the road to face the Pittsburgh Steelers in a tough, hard nosed divisional match up. Who’s at home and who’s on the road shouldn’t matter much; the Bengals are simply the more talented team.
They are loaded on both sides of the ball. They have one of the elite receivers in the league in AJ Green, a bruising rookie running back in Gio Bernard, a solid second receiver in Marvin Jones, and an ascending young quarterback in Andy Dalton.
The defense is stacked. Despite losing perhaps their best all-around defender in Geno Atkins they have still found a way to get it done. They have perhaps the best young linebacker in football in the ferocious hitting Vontaze Burfict. They feature two massive defensive ends setting the edge and rushing the passer in Carlos Dunlap and Michael Johnson.
Their secondary is getting the job done with veterans such as Adam Jones and Terence Newman manning the corner and safety spots. This is one intimidating crew when it’s on its game. The Steelers have struggled pretty much all year.
Protection issues and an inconsistent defense have hurt this team. The Bengals, if they are on their game, are simply too talented for the Steelers. From top to bottom they are perhaps the most talented team in football.
In all honesty they have the goods to come out of the AFC. Dalton has to take the next step, though. He can’t be average or a game manager. The rest of the regular season and when it really counts in January he is going to need to start to take over.
If Dalton is on his game from here on out there is no telling how far this team can go.