Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cincinnati Bengals Matchup Preview 11/24/19: Analysis, Daily Fantasy

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The Pittsburgh Steelers are heading to Cincinnati to take on the winless Bengals this Sunday. The Steelers had a rough showing in their Thursday night game against the Browns. Mason Rudolph completed 23 of 44 passes for 221 yards, a touchdown, and four interceptions. This led to the break of a 4-game win streak, as they lost that matchup 7-21. The Bengals, on the other hand, looked better than average against the Raiders. They still lost the game, advancing their record to 0-10, but they were in it throughout the entire game. Ryan Finley threw 13/31 for 115 yards, no touchdowns, and an interception, so it’s clear that the Bengals still have some offensive struggles. Their rushing game, however, showed some promise through Mixon’s 86 yards and one touchdown on 86 carries. I’m still expecting a Steelers win in this matchup, and for Mason Rudolph to use this game to redeem himself after the tough loss against the Browns.

TV Schedule

Date: Sunday, November 24, 2019
Time: 10:00 AM
Location: Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, OH
Coverage: CBS

Injury Report

Steelers: L.T. Walton (O), Benny Snell (Q), Anthony Chickillo (Q), Maurkice Pouncey (S), Roosevelt Nix-Jones (O), JuJu Smith-Schuster (Q), Dionte Johnson (Q), Ola Adeniyi (Q), James Conner (Q), Ryan Switzer (O), Artie Burns (Q)
Bengals: Alex Redmond (Q), A.J. Green (Q), Drew Sample (O), Auden Tate (Q), John Ross (O), Dre Kirkpatrick (O)

Steelers Analysis

Pittsburgh SteelersThe Steelers looked pretty bad on Thursday against the Browns. Rudolph completed 23 of 44 passes for 221 yards, a touchdown, and four interceptions. It is very, very hard to win a game when your offense throws 4 interceptions, and that’s the main reason for their 7-21 loss to the Browns. The Steelers played the Bengals in week 4, however, and Rudolph put up much better numbers. He completed 24 of 28 passes for 229 yards and two touchdowns, no interceptions. I believe Rudolph will be coming into this game trying to redeem himself after Thursday’s four interceptions, and I think he’ll be able to get it done. The Bengals pass defense allows the 9th most passing yards per game with 258.1, and only has 4 interceptions on the season. It’ll be easier for Rudolph to throw against the Bengals, which is going to be helpful if JuJu Smith-Schuster is out on Sunday, after suffering a knee injury and concussion against the Browns. The Bengals also allow the most rushing yards per game on average (167.0) which is great for the Steelers, who might still be missing James Conner on Sunday. Jaylen Samuels will be their starter if Conner is still out, and will most likely enjoy a lot of carries and good yards against the Bengals rush defense.

The Steelers defense has a good matchup against an underpowered Bengals offense. The Bengals only score an average 14.7 points per game, the 3rd fewest in the league. The Steelers defense, on the other hand, allows an average 20.2 points per game, 13th fewest in the league. The Steelers defense also has 14 interceptions on the year, the 2nd most in the league, and has recovered 9 fumbles, the most in the league. They’ve been great at taking the ball away, which is great against a Bengals team that has thrown 10 interceptions and lost 2 fumbles. I’m expecting the Steelers to take a win this week against the Bengals, as I think their defense will be able to hold the Bengals to few points while their offense has a great game much like in their first matchup against the Bengals.

Pittsburgh Steelers Depth Chart

QB: Mason Rudolph
RB1: James Conner
RB2: Benny Snell
WR1: JuJu Smith-Schuster
WR2: Donte Moncrief
WR3: James Washington
TE: Vance McDonald

Bengals Analysis

Cincinnati BengalsThe Bengals’ season is a tough one so far. They’re winless on the season, their last loss coming in a 17-10 game against the Raiders. Not only did they lose the game, they also lost one of their offensive weapons, Auden Tate. Tate, while not deemed “out” yet, is pretty doubtful to return for Sunday’s game from the concussion and cervical strain he suffered in a tough hit against the Raiders. This is a tough loss, as the Bengals were an underpowered offense to begin with. They score an average 14.7 points per game, the 3rd fewest in the league. Going up against a Steelers defense that loves to take the ball away and has been pretty strong overall this season is going to be tough for them. The Steeler’s rushing defense is a little stronger than their passing defense, so the Bengals might want to lean into their run game, which worked pretty well on Sunday against the Raiders. Mixon rushed 15 times for 86 yards and a touchdown, an average 5.7 yards per carry. Finley rushed 3 times for 47 yards, and four other rushing attempts between Bernard and Boyd brought their total rushing yardage to 173 on the night. If they’re heavy on the run game I think the Bengals have a bigger chance to win this matchup.

Defensively, the Bengals haven’t been doing themselves that many favors. They allow the highest average rushing yards per game at 167.0. It’s still questionable whether or not James Conner will be playing in this matchup, and if he isn’t it’s great for the Bengals rush defense. Jaylen Samuels is still a good player, so it’s not like the Bengals can take it easy, but it’ll be a bit easier to deal with given their record against the run this season. They’re a little stronger against the pass, where they allow an average 258.1 yards per game, 9th most in the league. Rudolph threw 4 interceptions last game in the Steelers loss to the Browns. The Bengals only have four interceptions on the year, but if they can figure out how to keep Rudolph’s interception streak alive they’ll be looking good this matchup.

Cincinnati Bengals Depth Chart

QB: Ryan Finley
RB1: Joe Mixon
RB2: Giovani Bernard
WR1: A.J. Green*
WR2: Auden Tate
WR3: Tyler Boyd
TE: C.J. Uzomah

Daily Fantasy

If you’re looking for a FLEX or an RB3 option for week 12, you might want to look into Jaylen Samuels. He’s owned in around 62% of leagues (ESPN) and has been the Steelers back while Conner is out. He has 45 attempts for 115 yards and a touchdown on the year, as well as 34 receptions for 186 and a touchdown through the air. The Bengals allow 167.0 rushing yards per game, the most in the NFL, so Samuels is going to be looking at the potential for big yards this Sunday. Mixon might also be a good start if you have him. He’s at nearly 100% ownership, so there’s not much of a chance you’ll be able to get him off of waivers. However, if he’s been sitting on your bench you might want to think about putting him in a FLEX or RB3 spot. I think the Bengals are going to rely more on the ground game, and Mixon had a pretty strong showing last week with an average 5.7 yards per carry.

I'm a student at UC Santa Barbara studying English. I've been watching football for almost my entire life. A couple of years ago, I started to really get into statistics and became a lot more interested in the NFL and have been really excited about it ever since.

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