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Bengals to watch against the Steelers

5 The rivalry between the Bengals and the Steelers has reached a level of notoriety that encapsulates the entire nation when they play. The list of names associated in events that have transpired in recent games seems to increase every time they go up against one another. Vontaze Burfict Cincinnati Bengals Hoodie , JuJu Smith-Schuster, Ryan Shazier, Joe Mixon, Vince Williams, Bud Dupree are just a few that make up the list.But looking past those names, this game features plenty of Bengals that simply need to play well regardless of the toxicity in-between plays. Here are the five that we’ll have our eyes on.Mason SchreckTight end Tyler Eifert was placed on injured reserve last week after he broke his ankle in Atlanta in Week 4, and last week’s game against the Dolphins was the beginning of the offense’s time without him. Eifert’s lack of durability was one of the reasons Schreck was kept on the roster, along with the playmaking ability he displayed in the preseason. He was counted on as a run blocker against the Dolphins last week, and his role may be expanded this week against Pittsburgh.Fellow tight end Tyler Kroft was seen in a walking boot earlier this week and has not practiced since injuring his foot against Miami. His absence would boost Schreck to the No. 2 tight end spot behind starter C.J. Uzomah, and he may even see a target or two come his way against the Steelers. His ability as a run blocker will definitely be counted again as the Bengals hope to run through running back Joe Mixon.Cordy GlennSomething that’s not really being talked about since the Bengals 2-0 start is Glenn’s struggles in pass protection. In the last three weeks, the Bengals left tackle has given up an obscene number of pressures against weak-side edge rushers. The common theme in his endeavors has been dealing with speed rushers, and as it just so happens, the Steelers primary pass rusher from the right edge has speed as his main asset.Dupree made the news this week for his comments about his misunderstanding regarding Ryan Shazier’s injury he suffered against the Steelers. On the field this year Youth Customized Cincinnati Bengals Jerseys , he’s been one of the Steelers three-best pass rushers and has three sacks on the year so far. He was kept quiet against Atlanta last week, but if Glenn’s struggles in pass protection persist, he could have a long day dealing with Dupree. Trey HopkinsThe unsung hero in last year’s home game against Pittsburgh was Hopkins and his exceptional day at right guard. He plowed open holes for Mixon and kept the Bengals offense on track to score 17 points in the first half. Obviously that game changed dramatically towards the end, but it was Hopkins’ best game of last year.Now, Hopkins is starting at center for the injured Billy Price, and this could be the last game he ends up starting as Price could return next week against the Chiefs. Just like how Schreck is going to be relied on sealing off the edge for outside runs, Hopkins will have a busy day dealing with the ever-pesky Steelers defensive interior on inside runs. This will be a statement game for the fifth-year player as his starting spot will likely return to the rookie Price soon afterwords.Andrew BillingsDefensive end Michael Johnson has gotten all the publicity for his pick-six against the Dolphins, but Billings was just as important as Johnson was on that fateful play. It was good timing for the third-year nose tackle because up until that point, he’s had a relatively quiet start to the season after a promising preseason.Billings will need tp play his best against the Steelers interior trio of Ramon Foster, Maurkice Pouncey and David DeCastro. The three have helped pave the way for running back James Conner to a strong — but inconsistent — start. Billings has to continuing being the plug in the middle of the Bengals front four if they want to avoid getting smacked in the face once more to Pittsburgh’s running game.Dre KirkpatrickAlong with cornerback William Jackson, Kirkpatrick played admirably well against the Dolphins, allowing zero catches on three targets. But Kirkpatrick is usually victimized when the Steelers are on the other side of the ball, thankfully Le’Veon Bell isn’t going to stiff arm him to the ground this time around.The Steelers like to move around their receivers just as much as the Bengals like to www.bengalsauthorizedshops.com , so Kirkpatrick will be well acquainted with Antonio Brown and Smith-Schuster once more. This will also be Kirkpatrick and the Bengals’ first game against wide receiver James Washington, who is basically the Steelers’ version of John Ross in their offense. Pittsburgh’s passing game is still nothing to be reckoned with, even with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger playing at an inconsistent level. Expect Kirkpatrick to be targeted a lot more than he has been over the past couple of weeks. Cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick knows what it's like to think that victory is only a few seconds away, only to watch the Pittsburgh Steelers rally for another improbable win, and run off the field as thousands of their fans twirl towels in the stands.Many of Kirkpatrick's teammates haven't been on the sideline for those blow-to-the-gut finishes, which might work to the Bengals' advantage on Sunday as they revisit a rivalry that's more of a horror story for Cincinnati.The Bengals (4-1) have their youngest team in coach Marvin Lewis' 16 seasons as they get ready to host the Steelers (2-2-1). Nineteen of them are in their first or second season — virtual newcomers to the one-sided series."It's kind of good that some of these guys haven't experienced it because we're trying to go in with clear minds, clear everything," Kirkpatrick said. "Just going out there and playing our game and not (remembering) nothing that happened two or three years ago, or last year."The Steelers know their history.Pittsburgh has won six straight in the series , including an 18-16 victory in the first round of the 2015 playoffs that included an historic meltdown by the Bengals. The Steelers have won nine of 10 and 14 of 17 against their AFC North rival, getting the better of games that have often turned nasty."Yeah, you get amped up there," Steelers linebacker Bud Dupree said. "It's their house. They're trying to be so tough."Some of the main figures in the most memorable games are gone. Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict is back after sitting out the first four games on his latest NFL suspension Cincinnati Bengals Womens T-Shirt , but cornerback Adam "Pacman" Jones left after last season. Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell is holding out."Many of the significant contributors don't play for us (anymore), they don't play for them," Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said.Some things to watch Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium:LOPSIDED HISTORYThe Steelers are 24-8 against the Bengals since they hired Marvin Lewis as coach in 2003. They're 15-2 at Paul Brown Stadium during that span, including playoff wins in the 2005 and 2015 seasons. During their current six-game winning streak against Cincinnati, the Steelers have overcome deficits of 17-3 and 17-0. They have two last-minute wins.SHAZIER BACKSteelers linebacker Ryan Shazier suffered a spinal injury at Paul Brown Stadium last Dec. 4 when he lowered his helmet and tackled receiver Josh Malone. Shazier was taken to a local hospital. Ten months later, he's still recovering and it's unclear whether he can ever play again. Shazier is on the sideline during games and is expected to be in Cincinnati with his teammates on Sunday.BIG-PLAY BENGALSPittsburgh is known for its tenacious defense, but the Bengals have made some of the biggest plays this season. They've returned three turnovers for touchdowns, including an interception and a fumble in the fourth quarter of a 27-17 win over Miami on Sunday. The Bengals' rotation on the line has kept them fresh for the endings of games."Guys were really, really getting after it, and it was fun to watch," coordinator Teryl Austin said. "It makes the game easy to call when you know the guys are going to push the pocket back and get after the quarterback and harass the quarterback."ALIVE AND KICKINGA year after making the Pro Bowl for the first time, Steelers kicker Chris Boswell is struggling. He missed his third extra point of the season last week against Atlanta, matching his career high. It hasn't been any easier for Boswell when it comes to field goals Cincinnati Bengals Hats , where he is just 3 for 6. Still, Tomlin remains confident in Boswell, who signed a five-year contract before the season.Boswell has never missed a kick against the Bengals, making all 11 extra-point tries and all 20 field goal attempts, including a pair of last-minute winners at Paul Brown Stadium."This guy has delivered for us a lot in the last few years, and I do not have amnesia in that regard," Tomlin said. "He's gotten me out of that stadium in Cincinnati a few times, and so I look forward to taking him to Cincinnati."CAMPAIGNING FOR CONNERIt could be Pittsburgh's final game without Bell, who reportedly will end his standoff and sign a one-year franchise tag next week. Bell's return could create an issue on how to split carries. James Conner has been solid while filling in. The second-year back is coming off a 185-yard from scrimmage, two-touchdown performance against Atlanta. Ben Roethlisberger believes Conner has done little to earn a demotion."I think James has done some amazing things and deserves to be on the football field," Roethlisberger said. "We also know what Le'Veon is and what he brings to the table, so I guess we'll cross that bridge if and when it happens."AP Sports Writer Will Graves contributed to this report.

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    Bengals to watch against the Steelers
    Bengals to watch against the Steelers
    5 The rivalry between the Bengals and the Steelers has reached a level of notoriety that encapsulates the entire nation when they play. The list o...