Bitter AFC North Rivals Clash
The NFL is back and it’s coming out hot with heated divisional rivalries. Following last season’s Super Bowl run, the Cincinnati Bengals play host to an AFC North foe, the Pittsburgh Steelers.
For the first time in 19 years, the Steelers begin a season with a starting quarterback not named Ben Roethlisberger. Cincinnati fortified its young roster in the offseason via free agency and the draft. With a win, the Bengals will start their journey to back-to-back AFC North titles, or Pittsburgh will make a statement as a potential playoff squad.
Ahead of the 2022 season, NFL lines list Cincinnati as the second choice (+170) to win the AFC North while Pittsburgh is the division underdog (+850).
Let’s check the latest NFL picks, stats, injury reports and NFL odds for Steelers vs Bengals. We’ve plenty of NFL predictions for you to consider.
Quarterback Mitch Trubisky will get his first start since 2020. He must play well against the Bengals. Cornerback Eli Apple is perhaps Cincinnati’s biggest weakness. The Pittsburgh Steelers have a talented receiving trio in Diontae Johnson, George Pickens and Chase Claypool that can take advantage. With that said, Trubisky must be on target and on time.
Just a remarkable throw on All-22 from #Steelers QB Mitch Trubisky. Was great in-stadium, but sky view is wonderful here. Drops it right into the bucket between two Lions defenders to Diontae Johnson. Terrific throw. Great touch and accuracy. pic.twitter.com/MgcgXn8DvE
— Josh Carney (@ByJoshCarney) August 29, 2022
Pittsburgh’s rebuilt offensive line will be challenged against a good front seven. Left tackle Dan Moore Jr. will need to play well against Cincinnati’s premier pass rusher, Trey Hendrickson. Also, the interior offensive line has a tall task in the run game against D.J. Reader and B.J. Hill. With poor run blocking, running back Najee Harris will become far less effective.
The Steelers’ pass rush is their greatest strength. T.J. Watt and Cameron Heyward will put immense pressure on the Bengals’ offensive line. If Pittsburgh is going to slow down this high-powered offense, the pass rush must produce.
Like in many games this season, Pittsburgh’s passing offense led by Trubisky must step up to the plate.
On paper, the Cincinnati Bengals are much better than the Steelers. However, this is a rivalry. There is no easy game in the NFL, especially when emotions are high against a divisional foe.
Cincinnati is anticipating the debut of its improved offensive line, which includes Ted Karras, Alex Cappa and La’el Collins. In pass sets, there could be no greater challenge in the league. Pittsburgh has an elite pass rush that will push the Bengals’ pass-blocking to its limits. Watt, the defending Defensive Player of the Year, must be contained.
If Joe Burrow has time, the Bengals’ wide receivers should have little trouble getting open. This is the NFL’s best receiving corps facing the Steelers’ mediocre cornerbacks. Ahkello Witherspoon and Cameron Sutton are simply not good enough to consistently stay with one of the NFL’s best wideouts, Ja’Marr Chase.
Keep an eye on rookie left guard Cordell Volson, who could be the weak link of Cincy’s O-line. As mentioned, the Steelers have a great defensive line that will be a tough challenge.
Steelers vs Bengals Injury Report
Pittsburgh has two rotational players on the injured reserve list: Damontae Kazee and Calvin Austin III. Starting outside linebacker Alex Highsmith is expected to return from a rib injury, but No. 1 WR Johnson is questionable with a shoulder injury.
For the Bengals, wide receiver Tee Higgins is probable and second-string rookie cornerback Cam Taylor-Britt is on IR.
Steelers vs Bengals Head-to-Head
Over the years, the Steelers have gotten the best of the Bengals. From 2015-20, Pittsburgh won 11 straight. However, Cincinnati turned the tide late in the 2020 season. The Bengals have won the last three matchups while going 3-0 against the spread (ATS).
Steelers vs Bengals Game Information
- Date: Sunday, Sept. 11
- Time: 1 p.m. ET
- Location: Paycor Stadium, Cincinnati, Ohio
- How to watch Steelers vs Bengals?
Steelers vs Bengals Live stream: NFL Game Pass
Steelers vs Bengals Betting Lines
Take a Look at Two Other NFL Week 1 Game Previews, Picks & Predictions
- Raiders vs Chargers Odds, Game Preview, Live Stream, Picks & Predictions
- Saints vs Falcons Odds, Game Preview, Live Stream, Picks & Predictions
Steelers vs Bengals Prediction
Heading into the 2022 season, there are a lot of unknowns about the Steelers. Will the offensive line be any better? Last season, it was one of the league’s worst. That won’t cut it against the Bengals’ front seven. Furthermore, we haven’t seen Trubisky start since 2020. He looked good in the preseason, but that’s nowhere close to regular season games. Plus, if Johnson doesn’t play, that’s a huge blow.
While Cincinnati’s offensive line will be much better, the Steelers will generate some pressure. This pass rush is too good; it can give any offensive line fits. However, the Bengals’ offense should still find success against Pittsburgh’s mediocre cornerbacks.
Cincinnati will start the season 1-0 ATS as the Steelers work through offensive kinks.
“The odds and predictions in the article are based on the time of writing and publication. They may differ as to when the actual event takes place.”