3 Reasons the Steelers Will Upset the Bengals in Week 1

Larry Rupp
Three reasons the Pittsburgh Steelers will upset the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 1.
Three reasons the Pittsburgh Steelers will upset the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 1. / AP Photos/Aaron Doster

The Pittsburgh Steelers kick off their 2022 NFL season with a Week 1 matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals. This is an AFC North divisional rivalry that has been dominated by Pittsburgh as it owns a 67-38 record all-time. However, Cincinnati has emerged victorious in each of the last three head-to-head meetings.

Cincinnati heads into this game as a 6.5-point favorite, according to FanDuel Sportsbook. NFL fans know that anything can happen in Week 1, though, as teams are still figuring everything out. Let's take a look at three reasons the Steelers will be able to pull off an upset win here.

Steelers vs Bengals Week 1

1. Mitchell Trubisky's Legs

Head coach Mike Tomlin named Mitchell Trubisky the starting quarterback on Tuesday, the first time someone other than Ben Roethlisberger will be under center for the Steelers in Week 1 since 2004. The former first-round pick unlocks an entirely new part of this Pittsburgh offense. He is capable of using his legs to extend plays and give the receivers time to get open down the field. Trubisky averages 19.0 rushing yards per game in his career and has scored nine touchdowns on the ground across 50 starts. Look for a few run-pass option packages to keep the Bengals on their toes on Sunday.

2. Defensive Line Upgrades

Running back Joe Mixon torched the Steelers across two matchups last year, rushing for a total of 294 yards and two touchdowns. It made it clear that Pittsburgh would need to improve their run defense in the offseason and that is exactly what happened. Defensive lineman Larry Ogunjobi adds some run-stopping power, while Myles Jack is seen as a big improvement at linebacker over Joe Schobert. Defensive end Tyson Alualu is also back from an injury after not playing in either game against Cincinnati in 2021. The reinforcements are out in full force, so look for Mixon to have a much tougher time.

3. Mike Tomlin's Week 1 Success

The Steelers have had no trouble coming out of the gate hot under the guidance of Tomlin. After all, Pittsburgh is 9-5-1 straight up in Week 1 games dating back to 2007, when he took over as head coach. Keep in mind the Steelers entered Week 1 of the 2021 regular season as a 6.5-point underdog against the mighty Buffalo Bills. A strong defensive effort led Pittsburgh to a 23-16 win on the road, though. A similar game plan could be put into place here as star pass-rushers like TJ Watt and Cameron Heyward make quarterback Joe Burrow uncomfortable early and often.

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Larry Rupp is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Larry Rupp also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username phillyfan424. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.