So who went through a roller coaster of emotions last week? Surely not just me? The Pittsburgh Steelers come off of a loss in Los Angeles and haven’t won a game since November 8th in prime time—a game they very easily could have lost as well. With the AFC—and entire NFL for that matter—seeing such a tight space of competition for playoff positions, the room for error has decreased sharply.
This week, the Steelers head to Cincinnati for a grudge match against the Bengals. If you recall, three straight drops ended the contest and led to Bengals’ receiver Tyler Boyd stating the Steelers “quit.” Also in that game, they were without TJ Watt, Alex Highsmith, and Diontae Johnson. With Johnson and Highsmith coming off of great games, they could create a different matchup. As for Watt, well, his presence is noted—even when he’s not on the field. No pressure was around last week when he was out.
Last week, we were 3-2. How will things fare this week for the Steelers—and our Week 12 Yay or Nay?
The Offense eclipses 350 yards
The offense played an efficient game last week. With the emergence of an up-tempo, no-huddle offense (where Ben Roethlisberger historically plays his best), the offense may have a new wrinkle down the stretch. The offensive line is still a warm and cold unit. Can they get over the 350 mark?
Alex Highsmith record 2+ sacks
Over the past 5 games, Alex Highsmith has quietly played some of his best football—including 3 sacks and 6 tackles for loss. With TJ Watt returning and the hand getting warm, could we see the hand finally start getting hot?
Joe Mixon is limited to sub-120 yards from scrimmage
Joe Mixon is playing lights out. He is a vital part of the Bengals offense. He will surely be someone the Steelers zero in on—but that leaves these fantastic wideouts in one-on-one opportunities. Can the Steelers limit Mixon and company?
James Pierre limits his man in coverage
James Pierre had a trial by fire last time these two played. He got beat by Ja’Marr Chase at the end of the first half for a touchdown that sparked a rough patch for him. Since then, his game has elevated and he has become a steady man in nickel and dime packages. He will likely see some significant playing time this week. Will he be up for the challenge?
Ben Roethlisberger gets his first win in Cincinnati in 3 Years
Prior to the Browns game, Ben hadn’t won in Ohio in 3 years; in Cleveland in 4. The Steelers had some other funks broken so far this season. As an example, the Steelers usually did well in home prime time games on SNF. Prior to the Seahawks game, they had lost all of those matchups since 2017. Ben, in what could be his final year, is surely wanting to finish his Ohio tour with a W.