It’s always a battle, always a physical game, always one when the schedule comes out, the teams circle.
And when you put it on Monday Night Football, it gets even bigger.
The Steelers will take on the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on Monday night, and it’s a game both teams know is going to be a tough, physical one.
“Just the physicality of the game,” said Bengals receiver Tyler Boyd. “Every time we play it’s going to be a tough one. It’s always going to come to the wire of who is going to be the division champs. It’s always going to be a hard, physical matchup against the Steelers.”
Boyd, and Coach Marvin Lewis, weighed in on more about the Steelers, including Cameron Heyward, T.J. Watt, and the offense.
Lewis on the Steelers having success in primetime games:
“Most good teams do.”
Lewis on if the Steelers experience playing in primetime is an advantage:
“The teams that finish with better records and stay at the top, generally play more of those games. They are used to doing it more. I think the players feel more comfortable with the schedule that way.”
Boyd on getting to know Steelers’ players while he played at the University of Pittsburgh:
“Just going to Pitt, being able to talk to Antonio Brown, Le’Veon (Bell), those guys, just about how to run a certain route, how the league is in general when I was in college. Those guys were useful to me. Now that I am going against them it’s crazy, but fun at the same time.
“We interacted a lot when we switched on and off the field after practice. That is when I would talk to them the most. It gave guys like me and James (Conner) an opportunity to get feedback of how to condition yourself and be a part of the NFL.”
Lewis on the Steelers’ offense emerging since the last time the teams played:
“They are doing a good job of finishing their drives off. Guys have settled in. The young receiver (JuJu Smith-Schuster) has been a factor in games. He was just starting to be when we first played them. (Jesse) James at tight end has become a big focus, he has really converted a lot of third downs as people work to take other guys away.”
Lewis on Cameron Heyward and his play as of late:
“He has been an outstanding player since he came into the league. They are getting great pressure from the two guys on the edges. Those things help. He is doing a great job individually on his own.”
Boyd on the Steelers’ secondary:
“They are consistent in the schemes that they play. They do a lot of different zone stuff. They try to contain a lot of receivers. Their front does a great job of rushing and getting pressure on the quarterback.”
Lewis on T.J. Watt:
“He is doing a great job. You have to be impressed with his ability to understand the passing lanes and so forth and be able to pick up the nuances of what they are asking him to do.”