Line: Bengals -7

Two teams will play Monday night that are coming off disappointing week one performances. The Steelers lost at home to the Titans in the lowest scoring game of the weekend. Things were looking up early after a blunder by the Titans on the opening kickoff resulted in a safety and a 2-0 Pittsburgh lead. For a while it looked like the score would stay that way. The Titans would put a touchdown and 3 field goals on the board while the Steelers were stuck at 2 points until a late touchdown made it a 1 score game. That is where the game ended and left the fans in Pittsburgh questioning the ability of their team’s offense. The Bengals knew they were in for a tough matchup with the Chicago Bears and it became one of the best games of the weekend. They scored touchdowns in each of the first 3 quarters but were shutout in the 4th when they needed another score. All of this leads up to two 0-1 teams that will be in desperate search of their first win on Monday night.

The Bengals were excited about their running back duo of first round pick Giovanni Bernard and Benjarvis Green Ellis and received virtually nothing from them outside of a short TD run from Green Ellis. Otherwise Green Ellis had 14 carries for 25 yards and Bernard had only 4 carries for 22 yards. The lack of commitment to the run in week one will likely lead to an increase in carries for both players in week 2. Quarterback Andy Dalton played well in certain series but did throw 2 interceptions. Star wide receiver A.J Green showed that he may be the best in the league at his position with 9 catches for 162 yards and 2 touchdowns. The Tight end combination of Jermaine Gresham and rookie Tyler Eifert looked impressive with 5 catches each.

There are very few positives for the Steelers to take away from their week one showing. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger threw for less than 200 yards on 33 attempts while being sacked 5 times. This continues to beg the question of why did the Steelers hire Todd Haley to run their offense when clearly his style and that of his two time Superbowl quarterback did not match? The Steelers have always been known for their “ground and pound” philosophy, so it is almost incomprehensible that they would have a combined 15 carries for 32 yards. Luckily the Steelers defense still appears to be its old self and should be ready for Dalton and company on Monday.

Tough game to figure when week one was such a disaster for Pittsburgh. Was it just a bad day at the office? Or was it a sign that the Steelers are not built in their traditional way and will need a major reconfiguration in order to be successful? Go with Coach Mike Tomlin making the proper adjustments.

Pick: Steelers +7

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