FBG says: Great matchup. Andy Dalton finally has a viable No. 2 wideout to throw to, and he operates in a creative offense that lets him maximize his weaponry. But the engine of this unit remains A.J. Green, who continues to dominate secondaries on all levels of the field. Green still excels both over the middle and down the field, winning one-on-one battles or avoiding them outright with masterful route-running. That's also what makes him arguably the league's premier redzone receiver. Dating back to his rookie year of 2011, Green has found the end zone on 6.3% of his targets, an elite mark that bests those of Antonio Brown, DeAndre Hopkins, and Larry Fitzgerald. Tyler Boyd's emergence has been huge for Dalton; his quick feet and reliable hands in the slot provide a great security blanket for Dalton, and he can slip mismatches downfield as well. The loss of Tyler Eifert for the year is hurtful, of course, but it's not as though the Bengals don't know how to play without him. This isn't football's most prolific passing game, but it's a dynamic one loaded with big-play threats, and it's already produced 12 touchdowns through 5 games
This Pittsburgh pass defense remains burnable. They've allowed their last 4 opponents to average 351 yards and throw 12 touchdowns, dominating all corners of the Pittsburgh secondary. Even more astounding is that, over that span, 8 different receivers have registered 56 yards or more. The vintage version of Joe Haden showed up last Sunday, which was a great sign for a unit desperate lacking in coverage ability. Haden was a big reason Julio Jones went catchless for three quarters. Still, he's been wildly inconsistent throughout the year, and Artie Burns has been even worse on the other side. Poor tackling has been a culprit, too. Mohamed Sanu's 43-yard catch-and-run through bad pursuit angles was a perfect example of the splash plays that keep haunting this group.