After a very rough start by both the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Cincinnati Bengals, the two teams met in a Week 4 Monday night showdown for division position and pride. Not to mention, trying to get some traction moving forward for the rest of the season. Let’s take a look at the biggest takeaways from Monday night.
Three Takeaways From The Cincinnati Bengals vs Pittsburgh Steelers
The Best from Both Quarterbacks
Truly one of the biggest talking points from the Steelers season so far is the quarterback situation. Specifically, losing Ben Roethlisberger for the season with surgery on his elbow. Into the picture stepped the young Mason Rudolph, a talented man but lacking NFL experience. However, one thing the Steelers have always been known for is the ability to adapt to different situations.
This Monday, with his elbow heavily bandaged and in a sling, Roethlisberger was on the sideline. Watching the game intently and giving advice where he could. On the field, Rudolph looked very comfortable and fitting into his spot well. Can this be a sign that the training wheels are off and Rudolph is ready to move forward with the team? If he can repeat the performance from Monday, it certainly appears so.
The Steel Curtain Again
In addition to a strong performing offense, every NFL team needs a good defense. Monday night, the Steelers defense looked shades of the 70’s old Steel Curtain. Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton could not get anything going as he was sacked a total of eight times. While he was also rushed and pressured throughout the night. By the third quarter, Dalton was visibly upset as he got off the ground each time.
The Steeler defense, which had not been putting enough pressure on opposing teams the first three games of the year, seemed to be firing on all cylinders. Could it be because they were playing at home? Was it the magic of playing on Monday night? They have an amazing track record when playing Monday night games under head coach Mike Tomlin at 18-2. Or could it simply be that the team is finally meshing together and will carry their chemistry on into their remaining games? There will some who say it is an empty victory to win against the now 0-4 Bengals. However, the Bengals are a lot stronger a team than the record shows. On Monday night though, they were far outclassed.
Bringing the Momentum with them.
After such a strong decisive win, the Steelers must keep this control and bring the same game with them next week. They will still be at home which keeps a strong advantage for them, especially since they will be playing their strong rivals, the Baltimore Ravens. This will be a strong test for both teams. While the Ravens have started the season strong, they still only hold a 2-2 record after Week 4.
The Steelers have only won one game so far, but hope to change that now. The strength of their playoff hopes is going to ride on how much they can keep this team momentum up. Their matchup with the Ravens will also mean a lot to both teams as they are both in the same division and usually fight for a playoff spot between them. An early win against their nemesis will be money in the bank for later in the year. Look for this to be an action-packed, physical game between these two heavyweights.
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