Monday Night Football Preview: Can the Steelers Find a Win?
This week's edition of Monday Night Football features the 0-3 Cincinnati Bengals traveling to face the 0-3 Pittsburgh Steelers. With each team looking for their first win, this has the making of an exciting AFC North showdown.
With new head coach Zac Taylor taking over, the Bengals dropped their third straight game last week by a score of 21-17 to the Buffalo Bills. On the other side, Pittsburgh continued a disappointing start to 2019 with a 24-20 loss to the San Francisco Giants.
For the Bengals, Andy Dalton has averaged 326 passing yards to start the season. Completing 62.8-percent of his passes, Dalton has a 5:3 touchdown-to-interception ratio. While the stats look impressive, they remain inflated after Bengals recorded the second-highest pass rate in football (72.92-percent). Pittsburgh has struggled against the pass to start the season, ranking 28th in pass defense, according to our schedule-adjusted metrics. However, recently acquiring Minkah Fitzpatrick, Pittsburgh's defense could see some positive regression moving forward.
On the other side, Pittsburgh will move forward with Mason Rudolph at the helm, following Ben Roethlisberger's season-ending elbow surgery. In his first career start, Rudolph disappointed with only 174 passing yards on 27 attempts. Completing 51.85-percent of his passes, Rudolph will look to improve against Cincinnati's questionable defense. So far this year, the Bengals have allowed at least 21-point in every game this season. In a potential get right spot, a bounce-back for Rudolph would primarily benefit JuJu Smith-Schuster.
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