The last time the Pittsburgh Steelers played the Cincinnati Bengals they held them to 16 points of which 10 came off of turnovers. While the Bengals did manage 296 total net yards of offense in that Week 8 game, it’s worth reminding you that they were missing two of their defensive starters that week.
Sitting out that game was defensive end Stephon Tuitt and safety Will Allen, and their absences resulted in nose tackle Steve McLendon playing extensively at left defensive end and Robert Golden playing the entire game at safety.
Defensive coordinator Keith Butler was asked Thursday about being without the services of a few starting players in that last meeting against the Bengals.
“The guys who filled in did a good job,” said Butler. “This is a big game for us, they know it. We enjoy playing these guys, they’re in our division. These guys, Baltimore and Cleveland. We’ll be ready.”
In addition to Golden needing to play in that Week 8 game, Shamarko Thomas also saw some snaps due to starter Mike Mitchell missing a few due to an injury.
The Bengals offense still managed to register 5 explosive plays in that game against the Steelers defense that resulted in 126 yards gained. While they were able to pick-off Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton twice in addition to sacking him three times, they allowed the Cincinnati offense to put together four drives of seven or more plays.
The Steelers defense is currently the healthiest that it’s been all season and in addition to that, it features a new regular member in cornerback Brandon Boykin, who is now the team’s slot defender in the nickel sub package. Boykin didn’t play a single snap against the Bengals back in Week 8, so that’s another thing the Bengals will need to prepare for this time around.