The AFC North teams are in a deadlocked race to see who can make the playoffs. Along with the AFC West, the division is one of the most competitive in the NFL.
In Week 12, the Pittsburgh Steelers (5-4-1) are coming off a disappointing loss at the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday Night Football. They’ll need a quick turnaround as NFL betting lines show that the Steelers are a slight underdog for their matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Can the Steelers cover this week?
Pittsburgh Steelers: Ben Roethlisberger in Week 11
After a brutal game without him in Week 10 at home against the Detroit Lions, Ben Roethlisberger returned to the Pittsburgh Steelers lineup.
Against the Lions, Rudolph completed 30 of 50 passes for 242 yards, with a touchdown and an interception. However, the nasty weather may have contributed to the Steelers only scoring two field goals in the second half, including overtime.
They did put up nearly 400 yards against the worst team in the NFL in their 16-16 tie.
With Roethlisberger back in Week 11, the Steelers scored only 10 points in the first three quarters versus the Chargers. Then, heading into the fourth quarter, down 27-10, Pittsburgh scored 27 points.
That included 17 straight for the Steelers sandwiched between an interception that they turned into an easy touchdown (after a roughing the passer penalty).
That tied the game. On the next possession, the Chargers turned the ball over on downs after the Steelers stopped Austin Ekeler on fourth-and-short.
Again, the Steelers took possession in Chargers’ territory. Roethlisberger completed one pass out of three attempts, leaving the Steelers with a fourth-and-three. A field goal put them ahead 37-34 with little more than three minutes remaining.
Two quick passes from Justin Herbert put the Chargers at mid-field. Then Herbert tossed a 53-yard bomb to Mike Williams for the go-ahead touchdown.
The Steelers’ final two minutes on offense included two sacks and a delay of game penalty that put Roethlisberger at his three-yard line with a fourth-and-32.
His last pass was incomplete, but the Steelers covered the spread against the Chargers in a miraculous fashion.
Steelers vs. Bengals in Week 3
In Week 12, Roethlisberger and the Steelers will have to put their tough loss behind them. They face a Bengals team that won 32-13 at the Las Vegas Raiders last week.
The Steelers hosted the Bengals back in Week 3. Roethlisberger attempted 58 passes in that matchup, completing 38 of them with one touchdown and two interceptions.
Rookie running back Najee Harris carried the ball 14 times for only 40 yards. But he was the Steelers’ top receiver, with 102 yards on 14 receptions.
However, the Bengals ran a much more efficient offense, with Joe Burrow throwing three touchdown passes and one interception on 18 attempts. Rookie Ja’Marr Chase had four receptions for 65 yards and two touchdowns.
The Steelers lost, 24-10.
Who Wins This Week?
The current line for the Steelers (+4.5) at Bengals in Week 12 might come down somewhat throughout the week. So, you’ll want to take the early points.
Pittsburgh is 3-1 ATS as the away team this season. Cincinnati is 1-3 ATS at home.
The Steelers should be able to develop a game plan for Chase and put pressure on Burrow. The Steelers expect to have T.J. Watt, Minkah Fitzpatrick, and Joe Haden back for this game. Pittsburgh ranks eighth in the NFL in sacks (28) and eleventh at quarterback pressures per dropback (24.5%). Meanwhile, the Bengals have given up the seventh-most sacks in the NFL. So I expect the Steelers to keep pressure on Burrow all game. As long as Pittsburgh avoids costly turnovers, I believe they’ll cover the spread in Week 12.
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