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Predictions & Projections
By David M. Dorey
 
The Huddle
WEEK 3
September 17, 2003
Season Ticket
Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 4 PM Mon 9 PM
JAX at IND NYJ at NE *NYG at WAS *GB at ARZ *OAK at DEN
*KC at HOU PIT at CIN STL at SEA Sun 8:30 PM Bye Week:
*MIN at DET *TB at ATL *BAL at SD BUF at MIA CAR, CHI
*NO at TEN Times EST CLE at SF *updated DAL, PHI
   
Pittsburgh vs Cincinnati Sun, Sep 21; 1 PM on CBS at Paul Brown Stadium
  Pittsburgh Rush Catch Pass
QB Tommy Maddox 0 0 240,1
RB Amos Zereoue 70,1 20 0
RB Jerome Bettis 20 0 0
TE Jay Riemersma 0 20 0
WR Hines Ward 0 80 0
WR Antwaan Randle El 0 30 0
WR Plaxico Burress 0 70,1 0
  Cincinnati Rush Catch Pass
QB Jon Kitna 0 0 230,1
RB Corey Dillon 70,1 10 0
TE Reggie Kelly 0 20 0
WR Peter Warrick 0 60 0
WR Kelly Washington 0 30 0
WR Chad Johnson 0 100,1 0

Game Prediction: PIT 23, CIN 20

The Steelers come off a 41-20 loss to the Chiefs in a game that they relatively played even except for allowing a 100 yard kickoff return for a touchdown, a 46 yard interception return for a touchdown and a 45 yard punt return that set up a touchdown from the seven yard line. Other than that, it was a pretty even game.

Tommy Maddox threw for 336 yards and a score but was intercepted three times and sacked on four others. Leading the receivers with almost the entirety of the passing game were Hines Ward (9-146) and Plaxico Burress (7-115, 1 TD). Together they accounted for almost 80% of the passing yardage.

The Steelers move to a passing-oriented offense was not meant to mean exclusively passing. The Steelers only gained 60 yards on the ground and Amos Zereoue's 11 runs for 48 yards came largely in the second half with the Steelers trailed. While Ward and Burress are great weapons, using them exclusively makes the Steelers easier to defend.

The Steelers rushing defense allowed Priest Holmes 122 yards but they held Trent Green to only 125 yards passing and one touchdown against two interceptions. Holding Jamal Lewis to only 69 yards on the ground in week one now looks a bit more impressive.

The Bengals drop to 0-2 as expected, but they gave the Raiders all they could handle in the loss. The Bengals were tied 10-10 at the half and were 13-13 until Philip Buchanon returned a Kitna interception 83 yards for a touchdown. The Bengals came back in the fourth to tie the game at 20-20, surrendering at the end to a Janikowski field goal. A loss perhaps, but one that showed more heart than the Bengals previously had in past years.

Jon Kitna threw for 303 yards but his two interceptions were very costly. Chad Johnson (8-131) and Peter Warrick (8-109) were standouts and much like Burress and Ward, accounted for 80% of the passing game.

Corey Dillon rushed 19 times for 84 yards and one touchdown while the Bengals defense held Rich Gannon to only 103 yards passing. The Bengals currently have given up the least passing yardage in the NFL. While they yielded a total of 134 yards rushing, 53 yards came on a reverse run by Justin Fargas.

Dillon hyper-extended his right knee in the Oakland game and was limited in the second half but expects to play this week.

The Steelers are on the road again but just need to cut down on the mistakes and focus on establishing at least a respectable running game. Cincinnati is playing better and will give the Steelers a better fight than they did last year when Pittsburgh swept them. It will be an interesting game - an improved defense that allows few passing yards against the same for the Steelers. Both teams have yielded rushing yards. In the end, look for the Steelers to take the win but in a game that will make the Bengals look very improved.

PIT
CIN
2003 Averages
CIN
PIT
Gains
Allows
QB's
Gains
Allows
298
109
Pass yards
284
139
2
0
Pass TDs
1
1
1.5
1.5
Interceptions
2
1
0
4
Rush yards
3
6
0
0
Rush TDs
0
0
---
---
RB's
---
---
76
134
Rush yards
81
108
0.5
1.5
Rush TDs
0.5
2
24
39
Receive yards
16
21
0
0
Receive TD's
0
0
---
---
WR's
---
---
259
62
Receive yards
201
74
1.5
0
Receive TD's
1
0.5
---
---
TE's
---
---
16
9
Receive yards
67
44
0.5
0
Receive TD's
0
0.5
---
---
PK's
---
---
2
3
Field Goals
1.5
1
3
2.5
Extra Points
1.5
3.5
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
0.5
1
Fumbles
0
1
1.5
2
Interceptions
1.5
1.5
0.5
1
Touchdowns
0
1
1.5
3
Sacks
0.5
3.5
0
0
Safeties
0
0
Steelers (1-1)
Score Opp.
34-15 BAL
20-41 @KC
Week 3 @CIN
Week 4 TEN
Week 5 CLE
Week 6 @DEN
Week 7 BYE
Week 8 STL
Week 9 @SEA
Week 10 ARZ
Week 11 @SF
Week 12 @CLE
Week 13 CIN
Week 14 OAK
Week 15 @NYJ
Week 16 SD
Week 17 @BAL
Bengals (0-2)
Score Opp.
10-30 DEN
20-23 @OAK
Week 3 PIT
Week 4 @CLE
Week 5 @BUF
Week 6 BYE
Week 7 BAL
Week 8 SEA
Week 9 @ARZ
Week 10 HOU
Week 11 KC
Week 12 @SD
Week 13 @PIT
Week 14 @BAL
Week 15 SF
Week 16 @STL
Week 17 CLE
(Statistics are game averages from current season )