The Pittsburgh Steelers are now into the regular season, in which they entered with big aspirations, in spite of a tumultuous start to the offseason. Significant players were lost via trade and free agency, players who have helped shape the course of the franchise in recent years. We even now sit here without Ben Roethlisberger after just two games.
The team made some bold moves this offseason and in some areas of the roster look quite a bit different than they did a year ago. That would especially be the case at wide receiver and inside linebacker, where they have new starters. And quarterback was suddenly added to that list.
How will the season progress without Roethlisberger, behind Mason Rudolph? How will the young players advance into their expected roles? Will the new coaches be up to the task? Who is looking good in games? Who is sitting out due to injury?
These are the sorts of questions among many others that we have been exploring on a daily basis and will continue to do so. Football has become a year-round pastime and there is always a question to be asked, though there is rarely a concrete answer, as I’ve learned in my years of doing this.
Question: Will the Steelers get their first win of the season against the Cincinnati Bengals?
While the Steelers have gotten off to a disastrous start in 2019, so too have the Cincinnati Bengals. Both AFC North rivals are 0-3. It’s fair to argue that Pittsburgh has been a bigger disappointment relative to expectations, but then again, they weren’t expected to be without their franchise quarterback, either.
After getting blown out on the road by the New England Patriots in the season opener, the Steelers have been competitive in each of the past two games, losing by a combined six point, and in the case of the latter, holding a lead in the final two minutes.
They are playing this divisional rivalry at home under the lights on Monday, and the Steelers just so happen to be 5-0 under Mike Tomlin on Monday nights, so take that for whatever it might be worth to you.
Generally, the Steelers are fairly healthy given the circumstances. While Vance McDonald is banged up, he hasn’t been ruled out for Monday. Some of the more significant injuries, namely Sean Davis and Xavier Grimble, have been addressed with trades for Minkah Fitzpatrick and Nick Vannett.
Neither the Steelers nor Bengals have been able to get the run game going, and so have been pretty one-dimensional on offense. And their issues defensively haven’t been dissimilar.
One thing to note is that the Steelers have been taking the ball away—and the Bengals have been giving the ball away. If both of those trends continue, Pittsburgh should win this one, but that doesn’t say much about how it will actually play out.