Bengals’ Trickery, Preparation Will Give Steelers Fits Sunday

Mike Tomlin does like to make every team he previews in his weekly Tuesday press conference sound like the 1927 New York Yankees. But something he said when talking about the Cincinnati Bengals caught my ear.

“They do a great job schematically of presenting some packages of the week to make sure you’re sound against a variety of specialty-like football. Whether they spread you out, whether they do Wildcat, or empty, or no huddle. They got a wide variety of specialty football that we have to be prepared to defend,” he told reporter Tuesday.

Yeah, no kidding.

If you read our Bengals’ offensive scouting report, you know this already. But I’ll admit there was an exhaustive amount of info included, that’s just our style here, and it’s easy to miss.

Part of what makes the Bengals so tough are the several unique looks they’ll give defenses.

Wildcat, WR passes, unbalanced lines, tackle eligible plays, Emory & Henry formations, run/pass options. For Keith Butler, that’s scarier than any Halloween haunted house.

You have to defend the Bengals’ base, core plays. With the talent they have, that’s no small task in itself. A.J. Green, Tyler Eifert, Gio Bernard, Marvin Jones, Mohammad Sanu. After that, as Tomlin would allude to in his presser, you have to fit in the time to prepare for all of that specialty football.

What compounds the problem is the fact the Bengals are coming off a bye week. Extra time to study their opponent, find their weaknesses. Extra time to rep – and maybe even add – new wrinkles to their gameplan.

More time for them. Less time for us. That’s a dubious combination.

A long catch and run by offensive tackle Jake Fisher or touchdown throw by Sanu could beat the Steelers just as easily as a jump ball from Green or splash run by Bernard.

Football is a chess match.

And through six games, the Bengals’ offense is saying checkmate to everyone.

About the Author

Alex Kozora

Full-time blogger from mom’s basement. Marrying tape and statistics. Chidi Iwuoma is my favorite Steeler of all-time.

  • Jason

    Best way to defend them is to pound Le’Veon and mix in some Williams then pound Le’Veon some more. Around 37 minutes of possession time would be nice.

  • Beaver Falls Hosiery

    Wouldn’t it be a treat to see Dalton sacked 6 times? Or intercepted twice.

    He reminds me of a young Joe Flacco; very good until rattled. Bengals have done a good job keeping him on his feet along with his own quick release. Don’t know what Butler can concoct in his witches brew of blitzes; but would like to see a sleeping potion lay the Dalton out.

  • SfSteeler

    old 37 Lake would like that…

  • PittsburghSports

    Hue Jackson is a good coach. He’s been at it a long time, and he got a raw deal with the Raiders. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s offered another head coaching opportunity after this year. Bills made a mistake hiring Rex instead.

  • Alex Kozora

    Totally agree. I don’t have a ranking but I consider Jackson to be one of the best OCs in the game.

  • DoctorNoah

    Final score prediction: Steelers 61, Bengals 6. You heard it here first. Bell and AB will both have over 200 total yards. Three Bengals starters leave on a stretcher. Mike Mitchell with two interceptions, one for each of his groins.

  • flump33

    As this is the first time this year that the Steelers offense is together, the bengals don’t have any relevant 2015 film to study on the steelers. Perhaps we will see a little trickery on the steelers part.