Mitchell knows it's coming

Here they come again. The Cincinnati Bengals. Offensive coordinator Hue Jackson.

And the same double-post route that resulted in an 81-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Andy Dalton to wide receiver A.J. Green in what eventually became a 42-21 Steelers victory on Dec. 7 in Cincinnati.

"Absolutely, we're going to see it," Steelers free safety Mike Mitchell maintained. "You won't see it completed, though.

"I'm going to be deep."

It won't just be about defending the deep ball when the Steelers and Bengals decide the AFC North Division championship on Sunday night at Heinz Field. Bengals rookie running back Jeremy Hill has 295 rushing yards over his last two games, including an 85-yard touchdown run on Monday night against Denver, and 1,024 yards on the season.

"I think they're going to try to run the football," Mitchell said. "That's something they attempted early in the game (in Cincinnati), and as the game went they kind of got away from it and the score dictated they had to air it out a little bit more.

Photos from the last regular season game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Cincinnati Bengals.

"Obviously, No. 32 (Hill) has been toting that thing very well for them the last two games, so the No. 1 focus for us will be smashing the run and turning it back and then making them a passing team."

But Mitchell is likewise convinced the Bengals are going to get to the double-post route, sooner or later.

"They're not stupid," he said. "They know we've studied the plays they hit on us. So I doubt they come out in the exact (same) formation. But knowing Hue personally, it'll be the same look. Might not be the same formation, they'll motion to it, try to hide it. But they'll get to the same double-post route.

"I'll be ready for it."

Mitchell played in Oakland in 2010 when Jackson was the Raiders'  offensive coordinator, and in 2011 when Jackson was the Raiders'  head coach. Jackson is also a Mitchell family friend, one Mitchell said he's known since he was in his late teens.

"They're going to run it and throw it over your head, that's his personality," Mitchell said. "Hue's the most competitive offensive coordinator I've ever gone against. When you're in practice with him it's, 'Hey DBs, we're coming at you today.'

"It's the same way on Sunday. When I see him before the game he's going to want to hug and joke it up. But right before we part he's always like, 'Hey, I'm coming after you. We're competing today.'

"I just know how Hue is and I look forward the challenge. With the way our front is playing right now I feel we can stop anybody. It's just a matter of us going out and doing it."

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