Re: Steelers vs. Bungles Game Day Thread 10/28/07
Despite Cincinnati's record, they do present some passing game matchup problems. Look for Cincinnati to go three wides, no-huddle all game. Ike will be fine, but Deshea against Johnson or Houshmandzadeh worries me because of the size difference. Also, will William Gay be able to cover effectively? The coverage questions put more pressure on the pass rush. One matchup I'm interested in is Cincinnati's backup RT Scott Kooistra against either Woodley or Haggans. Kooistra has little starting experience so look for pressure from Palmer's front side.
Another thing I'm worried about is Pittsburgh likes their DBs to play off the receivers. While this technique has been effective over the course of the last 16 years, they risk allowing Cincinnati to get their passing game in a rhythm if they call short passing routes. This will then allow Cincinnati's running game to be effective if they are able to consistently gain passing yardage. If I was the DC, I would mix up the coverage. Play more press coverage with our CBs and play over the top with our safeties to defend against the deep ball. Also, on first and second down, call more safe rushes where the CBs play off but the LBs are more focused on getting their hands up to deflect passes. Then, on third and long, you can take more chances.
On offense, expect Ben to see 8 men in the box. Despite the second guessers, I think our Denver gameplan can be effective against Cincinnati. Short passes on first down to set up second and short which will open up the playbook and keep the defense on their heels. Cincinnati has one their starting LBs out. Attack the middle with Heath. Of course, this is dependent on the OL being able to block effectively.