The Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals sit at the bottom of one of the worst divisions in football, and things aren’t looking up for either team.
Before quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was ruled out for the season, the Steelers offense looked tepid. Now it just looks awful. A Bengals team without A.J. Green has looked equally impotent through three games.
Pittsburgh’s pass defense has looked stout, though it hasn’t been enough to translate to victories. The Steelers trade for safety Minkah Fitzpatrick has already paid off: The former Dolphin had five tackles, an interception, and a forced fumble on Sunday. T.J. Watt had a pick and a fumble recovery. Stephon Tuitt added a sack and seven tackles.
At the end of the day, none of that matters if the offense can’t stay on the field. Because of the Steelers’ weak passing and awful running, a tired D has spent a lot of time on the field.
Luckily for the Steelers, the Bengals match their offensive ineptitude. Last week, Andy Dalton got intercepted twice, and their most promising receiver John Ross III managed a measly 22 yards. While Joe Mixon managed a season-high 61 yards, he still has less than 100 yards on the season.
The Bengals defense hasn’t flashed as much as the Steelers, but there have been bright spots. Andrew Billard and Darius Phillips had nice games last week. However, Cincy’s D also has serious liabilities like Dre Kirkpatrick, and as a whole, you can’t look at this defense as a net positive.
Overall, these are two bad teams with a lot of problems. However, the Steelers defensive strength should be enough to give them the edge, especially with home-field advantage.
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cincinnati Bengals
- When: Monday, Sept. 30 at 8:15pm ET
- Where: Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
- Streaming: Monday Night Football airs exclusively on ESPN. You can stream ESPN on a number of streaming platforms.
Steelers vs. Bengals live stream: How to watch MNF online
1) Sling TV
- Cost: $25-$40 per month (40% off first month)
- Sling TV devices: Amazon Fire TVs, Android Fire Stick, Apple TV, Android TV, Roku, Xbox One, Google Chromecast, Oculus Go, and iOS and Android devices
- Sling TV local channels: NBC, Fox (check your local availability here)
Both Sling Blue ($25 per month) or Sling Orange + Blue ($40 per month) include NFL Network and a number of sports channels—like three ESPN channels and NBCSN—and it’s still a nice perk that Sling subscribers can order a la carte packages. Sling TV also offers a special Latino package for bilingual viewers. Sling TV is currently offering a deal where you can subscribe for 40% off the regular price for the first month of your subscription. That means Sling Blue would cost $15, and Sling Orange + Blue would cost $25. (Here’s a complete guide to Sling TV channels and our Sling TV review.)
For $10 extra per month, you can get NFL RedZone via the Sling Blue Sports Extra package.
How to use AirTV with Sling
AirTV solves one of Sling’s biggest problems: The inability to receive all of your local channels. By purchasing a basic AirTV for $79.99 or the AirTV Player for $119.99, you can merge those local channels into your Sling TV (or on your mobile device if you have the basic AirTV). As the Daily Dot wrote in its AirTV review, “It’s practically magic.”
The basic AirTV is a dual-tuner streaming device, while the AirTV Player is basically an upgraded Chromecast that has Netflix preinstalled. You’ll still need to own an HD antenna because even though AirTV gets you access to your local channels, it doesn’t actually physically show them to you.
But AirTV—which has no monthly fee—serves to strengthen one of Sling’s biggest weaknesses compared to other live streaming services like Hulu with Live TV, YouTube TV, and PlayStation Vue. All those services have plenty of local channels. While select NFL and college football games (on Fox, FS1, and FS2) are no longer on Sling, you can still catch Fox games with AirTV.
- Cost: $44.99-$79.99 per month
- PlayStation Vue devices: PlayStation 3 and 4, Roku, Amazon Fire, Google Chromecast, Kodi, iOS and Android devices
- PlayStation Vue local channels: NBC, Fox, ABC, CBS (enter your ZIP code here to check your availability)
If you’d like to watch live NFL games directly from your PS4, PlayStation Vue is your best bet. PlayStation also works with streaming devices like Roku and Amazon Fire products, but what separates PlayStation from the rest of the streaming services is that it’s also compatible with Kodi. No matter how you stream, you’ll get to choose from four tiers of channels—all but the cheapest include NFL Network. From there, you can also add NFL RedZone as part of the $10-per-month Sports Pack, which also unlocks ESPN Bases Loaded, ESPN Classic, Longhorn Network, Outside TV, and NBCUniversal regional sports networks. You can see the full list of PlayStation Vue channels here. Two other great perks: You can stream on up to five devices at once, and there’s also unlimited cloud DVR.
- Cost: $44.99 per month
- Hulu devices: Roku, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire Stick and Fire TV, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Nintendo Switch, and iOS and Android devices
- Hulu local channels: ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, the CW (check your local availability here)
Hulu with Live TV includes sports programming among its offerings, including ESPN and FS1, and as a subscriber to the service, you’ll get free access to Hulu’s sizable on-demand library. (Check out the full list of Hulu Live TV channels.)
4) YouTube TV
- Cost: $50 per month
- YouTube TV devices: Google Chromecast, Roku, Apple TV, Android TV, Xbox One, iOS and Android devices
- YouTube TV local channels: NBC, CBS, Fox, ABC, the CW (enter your ZIP code here to check your availability)
Fantasy Football: Who should I start?
Defense/Special Teams: It’s hard to find a consistent bright spot on the Steelers offense right now, but the defense forced five turnovers last week, and could be a strong streaming option in Week 4.
Joe Mixon, Running Back: Mixon had a nice game last week after a rough start. If Mixon has found his legs, a soft Steelers run defense could make him a nice flex play.
Steelers vs. Bengals: Why it matters
We have to figure out how bad these two teams are. Are these teams competitive enough to spoil some games late in the season and keep this division competitive? Or are we looking at two teams playing for draft picks?
Mason Rudolph might improve at quarterback for the Steelers. He has only had one start since Big Ben’s injury. Veteran Andy Dalton doesn’t have much of an excuse in Cincinnati, and it’s hard to imagine things getting better for the Bengals.
It is very difficult for 0-3 teams to make the playoffs, and that’s where both of these teams are sitting. But, these next games are going to be important to fans of both teams, as they figure out just how much of a rebuild might be required going forward.
It’s highly likely that 2019 is going to be a lost season for both of these squads. The rest of this season will be helpful in determining just how tough of a road might lie ahead.
- How to watch NFL RedZone without cable
- How to watch NFL Sunday Ticket without a DirecTV satellite
- How to watch NFL Network online (without cable)
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