The Pittsburgh Steelers are coming off of an impressive week one victory over the Washington Redskins. Wide receiver Antonio Brown led the way for the Steelers passing offense with eight receptions for 126 yards and two touchdowns. Up next for the Steelers are the Cincinnati Bengals. Brown and Bengals cornerback, Adam Jones, have history together after Jones claimed that Brown was faking a concussion in their playoff matchup last year. The Bengals should shadow Brown with Jones in order to try to slow him down and to avoid putting unnecessary pressure on the younger, less experienced Dre Kirkpatrick.
Cincinnati Bengals Should Shadow Antonio Brown with Adam Jones
Bengals Need to Learn From Steelers Week One Game
Brown torched Redskins cornerback, Bashaud Breeland, on Monday night. The talk heading into the game was the matchup between Brown and Josh Norman, but the Redskins chose to play zone and assign sides of the field to their corners instead of letting Norman move around to cover Brown. To avoid history repeating itself, the Bengals will likely move Jones around on defense to keep him on Brown. Kirkpatrick is a capable cornerback and should do a fine job covering Markus Wheaton, Sammie Coates or Darrius Heyward-Bey, but he would likely struggle just as much as Breeland if he were to attempt to cover Brown.
Adam Jones Has Had Success on Brown
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has built a successful relationship with Antonio Brown over the years. The duo has averaged 144.6 yards per game, except when they play the Bengals. Against the Bengals, Roethlisberger and Brown only average 84.4 passing yards. Clearly, the Bengals defense knows how to play against Roethlisberger and Brown, as they’ve been more successful than any other team in slowing down the Steelers.
Jones Follows Top Wide Receivers
Against the New York Jets last week, Jones shadowed star wide receiver Brandon Marshall for the majority of the game. The Bengals held the Jets to only 188 passing yards on their way to a one-point victory, winning 23-22. Though they only had one sack, the Bengals defense intercepted quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick and kept his completion percentage down as he completed 19 passes on 35 attempts. The Jets only averaged 5.2 yards per pass.
Marshall only had three receptions for 32 yards lined up across from Jones. It’d be a miracle for Jones to hold Brown to only 32 yards, but if he can at least keep Brown from having a huge game, it’d be an important boost for their defense. If Jones is able to contain Brown, the rest of the defense can focus on the other weapons on the Steelers offense, such as DeAngelo Williams, who ran for 143 yards and two touchdowns against the Redskins.
The Two Have History
Last year, Brown was knocked unconscious by Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict, resulting in a 15-yard penalty, followed by another 15-yard penalty after Jones shoved Steelers assistant coach Joey Porter. The Steelers moved into field goal range and ended up winning the game because of Jones’ penalty. Since then, Jones accused Brown of faking his injury and then apologized when he realized that Brown actually had a concussion. The Steelers moved on to the AFC Divisional Round without Brown and ended up losing to the eventual Super Bowl Champion Denver Broncos. Clearly, these two players have a history together and will both be trying to get the best of each other on Sunday.