4 biggest causes of concern for Steelers vs. Bengals Week 10
Giovani Bernard has had a lengthy career with the Bengals, and while he has never developed into a true every-down back, he is a key weapon in the passing game. Despite only starting two games this season, he has 24 receptions on the year, a healthy total, and a sign that Joe Burrow seems to like to target him. While Joe Mixon is the superior player overall, his questionable injury status mixed in with the Steelers’ ability to stop traditional runners so far this season make Bernard a bigger threat.
On top of this, the Steelers inside linebackers are a huge question mark, as Williams is still on the COVID reserve list, meaning a lot of snaps will be given to Robert Spillane and Williamson. This could lead to some confusion, as the team will be trying to figure out what player offers the best skill set at a particular time. On top of this, neither of the three options are notable coverage linebackers, making them a potential weak spot on this defense.
Worse yet, the Steelers gave up a surprising amount of success to a similar back last week, as Tony Pollard used his athleticism to make some big plays as a runner. While Bernard may not be a threat to have a 100-yard rushing game, he could see some more success than a typical running back would have against the Steelers. As well, if he chips in five or so receptions, he could be a key factor if the game is a loss. While not the biggest threat on the Bengals, don’t be surprised to see Bernard find some success against the Steelers.