Week 7-- Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cincinnati Bengals
Big time game against our mortal enemy on the big stage? Gotta be excited about this one. Could really help our playoff chances with a win against a quality opponent, and a division opponent no less.
Looks like Kirkpatrick actually has a chance to play although I'd be surprised if he does. Marvin seems to be really impressed with his recovery/work ethic which is very encouraging. Only thing that can really hold that guy back is his attitude and if his head is right he could be a HUGE boost to this D on the back end. Could even be a S for us down the line if need be.
Anyway, Defensively this is going to be a huge test for this squad. If we can stop Mendenhall and get to/contain Ben in the pocket it's going to go a long way in helping our chances. It worries me with some of their deep threats and that horse in the backfield but we seem to be improving in our run fits from week to week. We should be able to get a decent pass rush going against this line but whenever you're dealing with Ben that can be a double edged sword with his ability to move around and elude pressure. Going to be tough but I think we will be fine if we can avoid giving up those big plays.
Offensively we really just need to continue doing what we're doing except we have to be able to convert on third down with more regularity. The WRs have had some trouble getting open when AJ is taken out of the picture, hopefully they can do better in that department this week. Would like to see more of Mohamed Sanu and/or Marvin Jones if at all possible. Perhaps the rest Baby Hawk was given this week will help him as well.
I think the OL has looked rather good in pass pro especially with that young interior. A lot of the sacks we have been giving up seem to be coverage sacks more than anything else. Whitworth had probably his worst game since he was a pup last week. I know he's dealing with a knee problem but he is our rock and he must get back into his groove this week against James Harrison. They don't have Polamalu and their secondary isn't much so I expect AJ to have a field day. That said, we will need a consistent run game to exploit that mismatch.
^A Bonekrusher production^