Cincinnati (0-1) was victimized by bad penalties and Jay Cutler last week in its 24-21 loss to Chicago. Pittsburgh's (0-1) day started with a dumb play by the Titans, but eventually an anemic offense that totaled just 194 yards was sent packing 16-9 by Tennessee.
Both teams struggled to run the football as Pittsburgh had the second worst showing in week one with 31 yards on the ground while the Bengals mustered just 63. BenJarvus Green-Ellis scored the first rushing TD of the season for the Bengals, but only had 25 yards on 14 carries. Giovani Bernard carried the ball just four times, but had 22 yards and had one reception for eight yards. Larod Stephens Howling led the way for Pittsburgh with a staggering 19 yards on six carries while Isaac Redman had seven carries for just eight yards and one fumble.
Some of the rushing issues had to do with turnovers (three for the Bengals, two for the Steelers) as well as each quarterback throwing the ball 33 times. Andy Dalton was efficient on the day going 26-of-33, but two of his attempts landed in the arms of the Bears' Charles Tillman. Dalton did find A.J. Green twice in the end zone. In his career against the Steelers he is just 1-3, but did win the last meeting 13-10 last December. Ben Roethlisberger threw for 191 yards and a touchdown in the final two minutes, but also had an interception. In his career he is 13-5 against the Bengals.
Green led the way for receivers with 162 yards and the two scores, but tight end Tyler Eifert also showed that the Bengals made a wise decision selecting him in this year's draft. Along with Jermaine Gresham, the tight end tandem caught all ten passes thrown their way for 82 yards. Without Mike Wallace (now in Miami), Roethlisberger relied on Antonio Brown, Emmanuel Sanders, and Jerricho Cotchery. Brown led the trio with five catches for 71 yards.
Both teams also had issues getting to the quarterback last week as the Steelers sacked Jake Locker only once while Cutler was able to escape any pressure the Bengals applied. Cincinnati did a fine job protecting Dalton allowing just one sack, but the Steelers offensive line was porous, allowing Big Ben to be sacked five times.
The winner on Monday will sit atop the division tied with Baltimore (1-1) who won an ugly game over Cleveland 14-6. The loser will still be winless along with the Browns (0-2) at the bottom of AFC North. Only seven times did not pick up a win in either of the first two weeks.
Kickoff is set for 8:30 p.m.