Tip: Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cincinnati Bengals
- Free Tip
Finally, the wait is over – the new NFL season is just around the corner. Pittsburgh or Cincinnati – who will get the first win of the 22/23 season?
The Pittsburgh Steelers travel to Ohio for the AFC North classic and, unlike last season, hope to finally get a win (24-10 and 41-10). After three successful preseason games, it looks like Mitch Trubisky will start. The veteran quarterback was especially impressive in the first half against Detroit. 160 yards/1 touchdown and a QB rating of 119.3 were on display there. The Steelers‘ offense is impressive because of its youth, but no player stands out among the receivers at the moment. The roster depth is there, but we doubt if that’s enough to win against last season’s second-best team.
On the other side lurks one of the NFL’s most attractive offenses: Joe Burrow, Joe Mixon, Ja’Marr Chase, Tyler Boyd, Hayden Hurst and Tee Higgins will all be looking to keep up the good work. Burrow, in particular, is coming off his second season with upside. The 25-year-old boasts a 70.4% completion rate, as well as a franchise record in passing yards (4,611), passing touchdowns (34) and six 300-yard passing games.
Going after Burrow is one of the best linebackers around, T.J. Watt. The Pittsburgh pro is known for his nasty sacks as well as his talent for QB hits. Conveniently, the Bengals invested in their O-Line in Free Agency. Here, Ted Karras, Alex Cappa and La’el Collins were three new players added to the roster. Cincinnati’s secondary was also bolstered with rookies Dax Hill and Cam Taylor-Britt. They will face extremely young wide receivers from the Steelers.
You can expect a close game, five of the last seven Cincinnati games were decided by one score (8 or less points difference). Still, we see the Bengals as much stronger as a complete package, plus the home field advantage. The Steelers‘ defense is decent (ranked 20th in 2021/22), but almost every defense would have problems against Burrow, Chase and Higgins.