We don’t often associate the term ‘pressure’ with offense in the National Football League but tonight in Cincinnati the Pittsburgh Steelers could use a healthy dose of it on offense and of course defense.
The defensive part is easy. Pressure Andy Dalton and good things will happen. True of just about any quarterback in the league but this is particularly on point with regards to Dalton who is 1-3 lifetime against the Steelers.
Dalton will force the ball at times and will do so even more when he is under pressure. He did it as a rookie and did it last year too. It’s up to the Steelers to take advantage of that.
If Steve McLendon can get pressure up the middle as he did last week and couple that with some pressure from LaMarr Woodley and Jarvis Jones on the outside, then the sacks and turnovers will come because that’s what Dalton has shown in four previous games against the Steelers.
Offensively, the Steelers’ offense can put pressure on the Bengals’ defense if Todd Haley allows them. A big ‘if’ I know, but the Bengals can be had if Haley allows Ben Roethlisberger to attack early and often with a no-huddle offense centered around the passing game.
Cincinnati gained a lot of confidence last year when they beat the Steelers in Pittsburgh to clinch a playoff berth and knocked the Steelers out, but there are still doubts in this team’s mind. They have only beaten Roethlisberger twice in 14 games at Paul Brown Stadium.
Haley can’t let them off the hook by pounding the ball because it’s what he is ‘supposed to do.’ Put the ball in Roethlisberger’s hands early and let this offense dictate the pace of the game.
For once it would be nice to see the Steelers play from ahead early in games rather than from behind.
Marc Uhlmann writes for and co-owns www.steelcityblitz.com. Follow him on Twitter @steeldad and follow the website at @SCBlitz. He can be heard Mondays on Trib-Live Radio at 4pm ET talking Steelers.