Another night in the limelight this coming Monday for the Pittsburgh Steelers as they will travel to Ohio to take on the Cincinnati Bengals. While the two teams are separated by a large margin in the standings, you can still expect the divisional clash to be fierce and physical. With a large amount of dislike and aggression held between the two teams, here are the numbers shaping Monday night’s AFC North clash.
While some may consider the Steelers and Bengals to be a rivalry, there are many who refuse to give the Cincinnati side the recognition of being a rival. That’s because the Steelers lead the all-time series 61-35 and have won the last five matchups against the Bengals. The last time the Bengals defeated the Steelers was November 1st 2015, a long 764 days from this Monday’s contest. With history on the side of the black and gold, the Steelers will look to continue their one-sided ways against the Bengals on Monday night.
The Steelers have not allowed 100 yards rushing in six games, holding their last six opponents to an average of 62.2 rushing yards per game. This has propelled the Steelers run defense to sixth in the NFL. Monday will be another test for the regrouping run defense as the Steelers get set to take on Bengals’ rookie running back Joe Mixon. Mixon averaged over six yards per rush in their last meeting and the rookie running back is coming off his first 100-yard rushing performance of his career. With Mixon being called out in recent weeks for replicating the style of Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell, the Pittsburgh defense will have to do their best job at reminding the Bengals rookie that he is no Bell but just an average Joe.
There is perhaps no hotter quarterback in the AFC North right now than the Bengals’ Andy Dalton. Since losing to the Steelers earlier this year, Dalton has recorded 9 touchdowns to 0 interceptions in a five-game span. Dalton has recorded a passer rating over 100.0 in four of these five games, a trend the Steelers will likely need to buck if they wish to secure a victory.
Coming into the Steelers first matchup against the Bengals, Ben Roethlisberger had thrown for 7 touchdowns to eight interceptions. Since then, the Steelers’ quarterback has turned his season around throwing for 13 touchdowns to four interceptions. Roethlisberger’s performance against the Bengals earlier this season was the best of his season passer rating wise, as the quarterback recorded a season high 117.4 passer rating. With Roethlisberger currently red hot and another matchup with the Bengals on the horizon, the Steelers’ quarterback will look to keep the good times rolling.
The Bengals’ run defense is allowing an average of 126 yards per game this season, good for 28th in the NFL. With running back Le’Veon Bell on the opposite side of the defense, the Bengals are in trouble of yet again allowing the Steelers running back to run wild Monday. In their matchup earlier this season, Bell rushed for 134 yards and added another 58 receiving yards, good for 192 yards from scrimmage. If Bell and the Steelers offensive line can put together a similar performance as earlier this season, the Steelers will be one step closer to victory.