PFF Preview: Steelers @ Bengals, Week 14
Week 14 features a huge AFC North divisional matchup, as the 7-5 Pittsburgh Steelers travel to Cincinnati to take on the division leading Bengals (8-3-1).
This game has major playoff implications for both teams. The Steelers have the third-ranked total offense and fourth-best passing offense in the league, which feature star players in quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and wide receiver Antonio Brown. Big Ben ranks among the Top 5 quarterbacks in terms of PFF QB Rating (93.67), completion percentage (66.6%) and Passing Grade (+21.5) in 2014.
The ever-dangerous Brown, meanwhile, is PFF’s highest-rated wideout this season with a +17.8 overall grade, and leads his position with 96 receptions, 11 touchdowns and 1258 yards. If offensive coordinator Todd Haley can get the duo going early in Cincinnati, Pittsburgh could find themselves right back in the hunt for the division crown.
Bengals’ defensive coordinator Paul Guenther has his unit playing well again this season despite losing former defensive boss Mike Zimmer to the Vikings. Throwing into safety George Iloka’s coverage has resulted in signal-callers earning a measly 13.2 QB rating (the best mark among safeties) and has only allowed a reception every 60 coverage snaps (also tops at his position). Cornerback Terence Newman has earned a strong 0.90 Yards per Coverage snap in 2014 and has also defended five passes himself. How Cincinnati’s secondary holds up against the Steelers’ offensive will go a long way in determining the outcome of this divisional matchup.
Here are three more notable numbers for each side:
Le’Veon Bell – ranks third in the league with 68 forced missed tackles, including 23 forced on receptions (tops among running backs).
Cameron Heyward – has 38 Total Pressures in 2014, which is the third best mark among 3-4 defensive ends. His 8.4 Pass Rushing Productivity places him fourth.
Kelvin Beachum – his 97.2 Pass Blocking Efficiency places him fifth among offensive tackles this season.
Andrew Whitworth – amazingly has not allowed a sack in 401 pass blocking snaps, and his 98.7 Pass Blocking Efficiency is the best mark among offensive tackles.
Geno Atkins – has generated 33 total pressures and 27 quarterback hurries in 2014, which ranks him fourth and third, respectively, among defensive tackles.
A.J. Green- leads all receivers with 2.85 Yards per Route Run this season.
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