The Pittsburgh Steelers move onto their first divisional game of the year after a disheartening 26-17 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders last Sunday. The current betting line according to CBS Sports only has the Steelers as a 3-point favorite at home. You can stay up-to-date with there line by clicking here. Injuries caught up to the team last week with several defensive starters going down with injuries and different players may have to step up if the Steelers want to start off 1-0 in divisional games. Here are the x-factors against Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals for Week 3:
1.) Melvin Ingram III
Ingram has played well in his first two weeks as a Steeler and may have to have his best game yet on Sunday. TJ Watt and Alex Highsmith, both nursing groin injuries, could either not play or see a strict snap count. The Cincinnati Bengals have allowed a league worst 10 sacks through the first two games. Even with the defense not at full strength, Ingram could be a huge difference-maker if he is able to get after Burrow. Ingram has already proven to be a bargain free agent signing and this weekend could make him seem like a complete steal given the extent of injuries all across the defense.
2.) Chase Claypool
Diontae Johnson is probably going to sit out this week leaving Claypool as the #2 guy behind JuJu Smith-Schuster. I am excited to watch James Washington with an increased role, but Claypool is the important piece here. We saw his ability for a big play last week with a 52-yard catch and he has displayed great pass-catching ability thus far. The Steelers are desperate for a serious boost on offense in any way. It doesn’t matter how it happens. Johnson had 12 targets last week and someone will really need to step up and replace him. Claypool has the ability to create several big plays this week and should be a key offensive weapon that can help secure a victory.
3.) Matt Canada
It is rare that an offensive coordinator and quarterback admit publicly that they are not on the same page. It sure seems that could be the case with the Steelers offense right now. We have seen rare flashes of attempts downfield, but for the most part, the offense has shown the same patterns through two games this year. Ben Roethlisberger is getting rid of the ball extremely quick and the Steelers are last in the league in rushing. The predictability of many plays seems uncanny. Steeler Nation was excited all off-season for a new, improved, and revamped offense. We have yet to see that so far and Canada needs to find a way to open up the running game and become as creative as he can be with a 39-year old quarterback.
4.) Chris Boswell
Chris Boswell was one of our x-factors in Week 1 and very much so had an impact on the game against the Buffalo Bills. Heading into this matchup and the Steelers only being a 3-point favorite, Boswell could have an impact again. The offense isn’t where it is supposed to be. Boswell might have to hit three to four field goals in order for the Steelers to win in ugly fashion. Hoping that isn’t the case, but a 19-16 win does not seem out of the realm of possibility.
Who are your x-factors this week for the Steelers? Let us know in the comments below!