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Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cincinnati Bengals Pick & Prediction DEC 21TH 2020

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Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cincinnati Bengals Recap DEC 21TH 2020

Devlin Hodges replaced Mason Rudolph at quarterback in the second half Sunday and rallied the visiting Pittsburgh Steelers to a 16-10 victory, keeping the Cincinnati Bengals winless on the season.

Hodges was 5 of 11 for 118 yards and hit James Washington on a 79-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter with his second throw of the game as the Steelers (6-5) extended their winning streak over the Bengals to 10 consecutive, including playoffs, going back to 2015.

Chris Boswell kicked a 47-yard field goal with 12:04 remaining to break a 10-10 tie and added a 26-yard kick with 3:21 remaining.

The Steelers' defense was able to seal the victory with a pair of fumble recoveries.

Safety Minkah Fitzpatrick recovered a fumble by Bengals wide receiver Tyler Boyd at the Steelers' 6-yard line with 8:59 remaining. Linebacker Bud Dupree sealed the victory when he sacked Bengals quarterback Ryan Finley and recovered the ensuing fumble at the Bengals 21-yard line with 3:10 remaining.

Finley was 12 of 26 for 192 yards for the Bengals, while Boyd caught five passes for 101 yards. The Bengals (0-11) are off to their worst start in franchise history.

Rudolph was 8 of 16 for 85 yards and an interception in his first game since the Cleveland Browns' Myles Garrett hit him in the head with his own helmet. That incident came in a Nov. 14 defeat to the Browns that ended the Steelers' four-game winning streak.

The teams combined for 266 yards in total offense and 10 points in a sluggish first half. After a scoreless first quarter, the Steelers broke through first on Boswell's 26-yard field goal with 3:24 remaining until halftime.

The Bengals came right back with their best drive of the day, with the bulk of the yards coming on back-to-back passes from Finley to Boyd.

The first came on a 47-yard pass, with Boyd making a one-handed catch to put Cincinnati on the 15-yard line. It was the longest completion of Finley's brief career. Boyd then caught a 15-yard TD pass from Finley as the Bengals carried a 7-3 lead into halftime.

The consecutive passes accounted for 62 of Finley's 108 yards passing in the first half.

The Pittsburgh Steelers have lost two straight games and yet have clinched a playoff spot. Now they have a chance to wrap up the AFC North title.

That can happen if Cleveland loses Sunday night against the Giants, so it could be decided before the Steelers play Monday night against the Bengals in Cincinnati. A Steelers' win also gives them the title.

Either way, there are a couple things Pittsburgh (11-2) wants to work on against Cincinnati (2-10-1), which has lost five straight games, including a 36-10 decision Nov. 15 against the Steelers.

A key area for Pittsburgh is opening up the offense, something offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner said has been difficult to work on with three games in a 12-day span that ended with Sunday night's 26-15 loss at Buffalo.

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Questions have swirled around veteran quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and whether he is reaching the end of his career after the Steelers have come to rely on the passing game but almost exclusively without throwing downfield.

Roethlisberger, who is 38 and had reconstructive elbow surgery last year, dismissed the notion that he is no longer effective, and Cincinnati coach Zac Taylor believes him.

"It's a Hall of Fame quarterback who is in full command of the system, so you really have to be on top of your game from a communication standpoint," Taylor said.

Pittsburgh hopes to give Roethlisberger a chance to air things out more Monday against the Bengals.

"Having this week where we actually get back to a semblance of having a real week, we worked on that," Fichtner said, calling the longer passes "an area of emphasis."

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"We know we have to get back to that. We know that in any one given year since I've been here, the opportunity to throw the ball past the sticks in possession downs is critical to us."

Pittsburgh -- which scored at least 20 points the first 10 games but has not reached that threshold the past three -- also has been hurt by dropped passes, particularly the past three weeks.

"If you're going to throw the football, you have to catch the football," Fichtner said.

Both teams have had injury problems that have affected consistency -- specifically linebackers and offensive linemen for Pittsburgh, the defensive front and offensive line for Cincinnati.

This week, the Bengals also are faced with a question at quarterback. Brandon Allen, who has made three starts in a row, did not practice Thursday because of a knee problem, although Taylor said Allen is "doing better" and is an option to play.

If not, second-year pro Ryan Finley is expected to face Pittsburgh.

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It's just another situation that pits Taylor's innate optimism against the reality of coaching a two-win team in late December.

"It continues to evolve every week ... and put your staff and players in position to be successful," Taylor said.

For Pittsburgh, cornerback Joe Haden, who missed the Buffalo game because of a concussion, was a full participant Thursday at practice, but running back James Conner (quadriceps) and offensive lineman Kevin Dotson (shoulder) did not practice.

--Field Level Media


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Pittsburgh Steelers

Cincinnati Bengals

Player Position Lineup
Marcus Allen primary: Right Inside Linebacker Starter
Tyson Alualu primary: Nose Tackle Starter
David DeCastro primary: Right Guard Starter
Terrell Edmunds primary: Strong Safety Starter
Minkah Fitzpatrick primary: Free Safety Starter
Joe Haden primary: Left Cornerback Starter
J.C. Hassenauer primary: Left Guard Starter
Cameron Heyward primary: Defensive Tackle Starter
Diontae Johnson primary: Wide Receiver Starter
Vance McDonald primary: Tight End Starter
Steven Nelson primary: Right Cornerback Starter
Chukwuma Okorafor primary: Right Tackle Starter
Maurkice Pouncey primary: Center Starter
Ben Roethlisberger primary: Quarterback Starter
JuJu Smith-Schuster primary: Wide Receiver Starter
Benny Snell Jr. primary: Runningback Starter
Stephon Tuitt primary: Defensive End Starter
Alejandro Villanueva primary: Left Tackle Starter
James Washington primary: Wide Receiver Starter
T.J. Watt primary: Left Outside Linebacker Starter
Alex Highsmith primary: Right Outside Linebacker Starter
Avery Williamson primary: Left Inside Linebacker Starter
Olasunkanmi Adeniyi primary: Linebacker Substitution
Chris Boswell primary: Kicker Substitution
Kameron Canaday primary: Long Snapper Substitution
Ulysees Gilbert III primary: Linebacker Substitution
Mike Hilton primary: Cornerback Substitution
Justin Layne primary: Cornerback Substitution
Jaylen Samuels primary: Runningback Substitution
Cameron Sutton primary: Cornerback Substitution
Henry Mondeaux primary: Defensive Tackle Substitution
Derwin Gray primary: Offensive Tackle Substitution
Jordan Dangerfield primary: Safety Substitution
Derek Watt primary: Fullback Substitution
Chris Wormley primary: Nose Tackle Substitution
Eric Ebron primary: Tight End Substitution
Chase Claypool primary: Wide Receiver Substitution
Anthony McFarland Jr. primary: Runningback Substitution
Carlos Davis primary: Defensive Tackle Substitution
James Pierre primary: Cornerback Substitution
Ray-Ray McCloud primary: Wide Receiver Substitution
Sean Davis primary: Safety Substitution
Jayrone Elliott primary: Linebacker Substitution
Jerald Hawkins primary: Offensive Tackle Substitution
Jordan Berry primary: Punter Substitution
Tegray Scales primary: Linebacker Substitution
Isaiah Buggs primary: Defensive End Not active
James Conner primary: Runningback Not active
Mason Rudolph primary: Quarterback Did not play
Kevin Dotson primary: Offensive Linesman Not active
Antoine Brooks Jr. primary: Defensive Back Not active
Joshua Dobbs primary: Quarterback Not active
Cassius Marsh Sr. primary: Defensive End Not active
Danny Isidora primary: Offensive Linesman Did not play
Player Position Lineup
Jessie Bates III primary: Safety Starter
Giovani Bernard primary: Halfback Starter
Cethan Carter primary: Tight End Starter
Ryan Finley primary: Quarterback Starter
A.J. Green primary: Wide Receiver Starter
Bobby Hart primary: Right Tackle Starter
Trey Hopkins primary: Center Starter
Sam Hubbard primary: Left Defensive End Starter
William Jackson III primary: Cornerback Starter
Fred Johnson primary: Left Tackle Starter
Carl Lawson primary: Right Defensive End Starter
Darius Phillips primary: Cornerback Starter
Germaine Pratt primary: Linebacker Starter
Drew Sample primary: Tight End Starter
Xavier Su'a-Filo primary: Left Guard Starter
Vonn Bell primary: Safety Starter
Mackensie Alexander primary: Cornerback Starter
Josh Bynes primary: Linebacker Starter
Tee Higgins primary: Wide Receiver Starter
Mike Daniels primary: Nose Tackle Starter
Christian Covington primary: Defensive Tackle Starter
Quinton Spain primary: Right Guard Starter
Tyler Boyd primary: Wide Receiver Substitution
Alex Erickson primary: Wide Receiver Substitution
Jordan Evans primary: Linebacker Substitution
Clark Harris primary: Long Snapper Substitution
Trayvon Henderson primary: Safety Substitution
Kevin Huber primary: Punter Substitution
Michael Jordan primary: Guard Substitution
Stanley Morgan Jr. primary: Wide Receiver Substitution
Billy Price primary: Center Substitution
Mason Schreck primary: Tight End Substitution
Shawn Williams primary: Defensive Back Substitution
Trayveon Williams primary: Halfback Substitution
Brandon Wilson primary: Safety Substitution
LeShaun Sims primary: Cornerback Substitution
Akeem Davis-Gaither primary: Linebacker Substitution
Khalid Kareem primary: Defensive End Substitution
Hakeem Adeniji primary: Offensive Tackle Substitution
Markus Bailey primary: Linebacker Substitution
Mike Thomas primary: Wide Receiver Substitution
Samaje Perine primary: Halfback Substitution
Amani Bledsoe primary: Defensive End Substitution
Austin Seibert primary: Kicker Substitution
Xavier Williams primary: Defensive Tackle Substitution
Margus Hunt primary: Defensive Tackle Substitution
Randy Bullock primary: Kicker Not active
Logan Wilson primary: Linebacker Not active
Brandon Allen primary: Quarterback Not active
Keaton Sutherland primary: Guard Not active
Alex Redmond primary: Guard Not active
Jalen Davis primary: Cornerback Did not play
B.J. Finney primary: Guard Not active
Kevin Hogan primary: Quarterback Did not play

Pittsburgh Steelers

Cincinnati Bengals

  • Match Start
  • Period 1
  • MIN 5
    • scoring-play
    • Field Goal
    • 34 Yards
    • FG Kicker: Austin Seibert
  • Period 2
  • MIN 4
    • scoring-play
    • Touchdown
    • Pass
    • 14 Yards
    • Passer: Ryan Finley
    • Pass Receiver: Giovani Bernard
    • Conv Kicker: Austin Seibert
  • MIN 12
    • scoring-play
    • Touchdown
    • Rush
    • 4 Yards
    • Conv Kicker: Austin Seibert
    • Rusher: Giovani Bernard
  • Period 3
  • MIN 5
    • scoring-play
    • Field Goal
    • 25 Yards
    • FG Kicker: Chris Boswell
  • MIN 12
    • scoring-play
    • Touchdown
    • Pass
    • 23 Yards
    • Pass Receiver: Diontae Johnson
    • Conv Kicker: Chris Boswell
    • Passer: Ben Roethlisberger
  • Period 4
  • MIN 0
    • scoring-play
    • Field Goal
    • 33 Yards
    • FG Kicker: Austin Seibert
  • MIN 5
    • scoring-play
    • Touchdown
    • Rush
    • 1 Yards
    • Rusher: Benny Snell Jr.
    • Conv Kicker: Chris Boswell
  • MIN 11
    • scoring-play
    • Touchdown
    • Rush
    • 23 Yards
    • Rusher: Ryan Finley
    • Conv Kicker: Austin Seibert
  • Match End


Last 10

W 50% L 50%
5 5
  • Cleveland L 48 - 37
  • @Cleveland L 22 - 24
  • Indianapolis W 24 - 28
  • @Cincinnati L 17 - 27
  • @Buffalo L 15 - 26
  • Washington L 23 - 17
  • Baltimore W 14 - 19
  • @Jacksonville W 27 - 3
  • Cincinnati W 10 - 36
  • @Dallas W 24 - 19
W 30% L 70%
3 7
  • Baltimore L 38 - 3
  • @Houston W 37 - 31
  • Pittsburgh W 17 - 27
  • Dallas L 30 - 7
  • @Miami L 7 - 19
  • N.Y. Giants L 19 - 17
  • @Washington L 9 - 20
  • @Pittsburgh L 10 - 36
  • Tennessee W 20 - 31
  • Cleveland L 37 - 34

Last Meetings

  • Steelers @ Bengals 17-27
  • Bengals @ Steelers 10-36
  • Steelers @ Bengals 16-10
  • Bengals @ Steelers 3-27
  • Bengals @ Steelers 13-16
  • Steelers @ Bengals 28-21
  • Steelers @ Bengals 23-20
  • Bengals @ Steelers 14-29
  • Steelers @ Bengals 24-20
  • Bengals @ Steelers 16-24

American Football Conference

Buffalo Bills133 0.8130.00.00.0 7-16-29-0-1
Miami Dolphins106 0.6253.00.00.0 5-35-37-0-3
New England Patriots79 0.4386.00.00.0 5-32-65-0-5
New York Jets214 0.12511.00.00.0 1-71-72-0-8
Pittsburgh Steelers124 0.7500.00.00.0 7-15-36-0-4
Cleveland Browns115 0.6881.00.00.0 6-25-37-0-3
Baltimore Ravens115 0.6881.00.00.0 5-36-26-0-4
Cincinnati Bengals411 1.2677.50.00.0 3-51-63-1-7
Indianapolis Colts115 0.6880.00.00.0 6-25-37-0-3
Tennessee Titans115 0.6880.00.00.0 5-36-26-0-4
Houston Texans412 0.2507.00.00.0 2-62-63-0-7
Jacksonville Jaguars115 0.06310.00.00.0 1-70-81-0-10
Kansas City Chiefs142 0.8750.00.00.0 6-28-09-0-1
Las Vegas Raiders88 0.5006.00.00.0 2-66-25-0-5
Los Angeles Chargers79 0.4387.00.00.0 4-43-55-0-5
Denver Broncos511 0.3139.00.00.0 2-63-53-0-7

National Football Conference

Washington Football Team79 0.4380.00.00.0 3-54-46-0-4
New York Giants610 0.3751.00.00.0 3-53-55-0-5
Dallas Cowboys610 0.3751.00.00.0 4-42-64-0-6
Philadelphia Eagles411 1.2672.50.00.0 3-41-73-1-7
Green Bay Packers133 0.8130.00.00.0 7-16-28-0-2
Chicago Bears88 0.5005.00.00.0 3-55-33-0-7
Minnesota Vikings79 0.4386.00.00.0 3-54-46-0-4
Detroit Lions511 0.3138.00.00.0 1-74-42-0-8
New Orleans Saints124 0.7500.00.00.0 6-26-28-0-2
Tampa Bay Buccaneers115 0.6881.00.00.0 5-36-27-0-3
Carolina Panthers511 0.3137.00.00.0 2-63-52-0-8
Atlanta Falcons412 0.2508.00.00.0 2-62-63-0-7
Seattle Seahawks124 0.7500.00.00.0 7-15-37-0-3
Los Angeles Rams106 0.6252.00.00.0 6-24-46-0-4
Arizona Cardinals88 0.5004.00.00.0 4-44-44-0-6
San Francisco 49ers610 0.3756.00.00.0 1-75-33-0-7

Last Injuries