In lots of ways, the Cincinnati Bengals’ dismantling of the Denver Broncos last Monday might just be a very important thing to take place to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
In the lead as much as their winner-take-all showdown this week, the main storyline was expected to function as Bengals’continuing failures in prime time. Well that narrative went the window thanks to a killer defensive game plan executed to perfection, they are looking for a solid rushing attack capable of racking up yards on anyone and a maligned quarterback who simply did his job.
Now, because the jungle cats prepare to stalk to the unfriendly confines of Heinz Field, their divisional big brother must heed an amazing warning: the Bengals shouldn’t be feared, but they need to be respected. Way too many times this season, the Steelers haven’t gotton of to a good start against bad teams lesser opponents with a lax attitude. Punctuated by bad turnovers, awful secondary play and disastrous breakdowns on special teams, Pittsburgh lost games they should’ve handily won on paper. That’s area of the reason they’re in this precarious position in the very first place.
Obviously, teams just like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New York Jets aren’t created from exactly the same fiber because the Bengals, but often oahu is the team mentality that plays a bigger role. Had Cincy put forth another performance akin to flaming garbage under the bright lights in Week 16, many Steelers might have mentally prepared for a fit with the “Pussycats” or “Bungles.” Instead, Cincinnati revealed that – at the very least on that night – they were capable of throwing down with the big bullies of the AFC, and that suits the Steelers just fine.
Therefore the respect is there, but what does it mean to not fear them? Simply speaking, the Steelers could learn from the Bengals’defense last week. Knowing full well the threat of Peyton Manning’s outside targets, the leading seven chose to bring continuous pressure while keeping faith within their secondary. On offense, persistence was the order of your day, and it had been rewarded with some barnstorming runs that ultimately sealed the win.
The Steelers need certainly to just play their game, and do this at an elevated level. Succeed, and a first-round home game awaits. Fail, and you are Andrew Luck’s reluctant guest inside your home that Peyton built.