Cincinnati Bengals @

Pittsburgh Steelers

Mon, Sep 30
5:15 PM Pacific
Rotation: 277
Odds: Pittsburgh Steelers -3.5, Total: 44

Game Analysis

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Lean – Cincinnati (+3.5) over PITTSBURGH

Mason Rudolph completed just 2 passes that traveled more than 1 yard downfield in his first start last week, which is the fewest for any quarterback in a game since Tim Tebow completed only 1 versus the Chiefs in 2011. Clearly the Steelers are not ready to trust the rookie quarterback despite their perceived confidence in him when they traded their first round pick. Pittsburgh’s offensive line has regressed from ranking 1st in pass blocking efficiency last season to 10th thus far – likely due to the departure of offensive line coach Mike Munchak – and they can be exploited by this Bengals defensive line. Sam Hubbard ranks 14th in pass rush efficiency among edge defenders and Geno Atkins ranks 2nd in pass rush efficiency among interior defenders. I expect the Steelers to focus on their 4th-rated ground game in a favorable matchup versus Cincinnati’s rush defense ranked 29th.

Former Miami cornerback Minkah Fitzpatrick had a huge first game for his new team with an interception and forced fumble for the Steelers last week. However, Pittsburgh inexplicably didn’t play him at nickelback for even 1 snap and paid for it by surrendering a whopping 7.82 yards per cover snap in the slot. Tyler Boyd is the Cincinnati’s best offensive weapon and he plays 59% of his snaps in the slot. Boyd will be open all night if the Steelers continue to play Fitzpatrick at safety and Mike Hilton at nickelback. I do not expect much from Joe Mixon running the football but he can be effective as a receiver in this matchup. Pittsburgh is one of two teams to allow more than 200 receiving yards to opposing running backs thus far mostly because rookie Devin Bush is really struggling to guard guys out of the backfield, conceding 2.00 yards per cover snap, second-worst among all linebackers. Stephon Tuitt ranks 10th in pass rushing efficiency among interior defenders, but he should be limited by right guard Jon Miller, who has surrendered only 4 pressures in 3 games.

James Conner will likely see a heavy workload while Andy Dalton’s top two playmakers, Boyd and Mixon, have a chance to make some noise in the receiving game. Our model favors Pittsburgh by 4.1 points with a predicted total of 45.7. I’ll lean with Cincinnati based on a 100-44-4 ATS road underdog bounce-back situation.

  • Team Stats
  • Game Log
  • Bengals
  • Steelers


  • Pass Plays 46.7 29.0
  • Succ Pass Plays 42.7% 49.6%
  • Sack Rate 7.6% 6.5%
  • Int Rate 2.6% 2.2%
  • Deep Pass Rate 13.8% 20.7%
  • Big Pass Yards 52.4% 59.6%
  • NYPP 6.6 8.4


  • Rush Plays 17.3 34.3
  • RB YPR 2.5 4.5
  • Stuff Rate 40.0% 19.0%
  • Succ Rush Plays 29.9% 51.9%
  • Big Rush Yards 34.2% 46.9%
  • Yards Per Rush 2.4 4.6


  • All Snaps 64.0 63.3
  • Early Down Succ 39.9% 54.5%
  • Succ Rate 39.6% 50.7%
  • Big Yards Rate 52.0% 55.0%
  • Yards Per Play 5.5 6.3
  • Fumble Lost Rate 2.6% 1.1%
  • Time Per Play (sec) 26.8 29.5
  • Run Ratio 27.5% 54.0%
  • Starting Field Pos 27.9 30.1
  • Game Control -7.5 7.5
  • Points 18.0 27.7
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