Updated: Dec 22, 2020
The 11-2 Pittsburg Steelers are set to travel to Cincinnati tonight for a Monday night showdown against the 2-10-1 Bengals. With the Steelers losing to both the Washington Football Team and the Buffalo Bills in the last two weeks, it has opened the division lead back up for the taking and this game can be considered a must-win for the Steelers if they want to top the AFC North going into playoffs. As far as the Bengals go, a third win would do nothing more than raise their draft pick and maybe cause for a few more smiles in the locker room. It's time to stop talking and get into our pick for the game.
The Bengals were once a team with lots of upset-potential, as earlier in the season they were able to keep most games competitive as they lost by only one score to both the Colts and Browns who both are sitting comfortably in playoff positions. Unfortunately, this is a different team now as since they lost rookie QB Joe Burrow and haven't had any other legitimate quarterback option since week 11. Ryan Finley is set to get the start under centre, and he has never won an NFL game and his career interceptions are double the number of his career touchdowns... The Bengals will also yet again be without Joe Mixon, so expect Perine and Bernard to be the ones who get smashed by the Steelers fantastic run defense. If things could not get any worse, Geno Atkins and Logan Wilson, two of the Bengals staples on defense, will also be out for this game so it is fair to consider every part of the Bengals lineup a weakness and inferior to whoever is lined up across from them.
The Steelers come into this game on a two-game losing streak, with an extremely favourable matchup in all facets of the game. Big Ben is about to crush a 12 pack of Natty Lite pregame, and take it to the Bengals all game long with his 30 bubble screens to Diontae Johnson down the field (*if he catches them). William Jackson can only guard one guy on the Steelers, and they have 3 legitimate receivers, so expect an air raid by Roethlisberger until they get to the second half and start force-feeding the ball to Conner and Snell. No matter what the Bengals throw at them, they have the personnel to expose this pedestrian defense on the ground or in the air. Fantasy managers this is for you: if you are questioning starting your Steelers offensive players - do it. Big Ben is angry after two consecutive losses, and the Bengals are going to be brutally victimized in this game.
It should be no shock by this point that I have the Steelers destroying the Bengals on Monday night. Although I think that the Steelers will put up a lot of points, they generally do not push the ball deep downfield and will eat a lot of clock in order to get their points. The Bengals are not set up to have any success against the Steelers top 5 defense, and we could see multiple QBs for Bengals by the end of the first half. At this point it really isn't even a question of "if the Steelers win", but rather a question of "how much will the Steelers win by". No more messing around for the Steelers, trust them to bounce back in a big way and cover the Spread.
Steelers -14 (-115)
Under 40.5 total points (-105)