3 Things To Watch – Pittsburgh

181007-Johnson-Michael_touchdown_celebration
Defensive linemen Michael Johnson and Carlos Dunlap celebrate a touchdown against the Miami Dolphins. Johnson scored on a pick six in the fourth quarter.

The Bengals sit atop the AFC North with a 4-1 record as division rival Pittsburgh Steelers come to town with a 2-2-1 record.

Here are three things to watch for Sunday's showdown.

Maintaining Discipline – The Steelers lead the NFL with 459 penalty yards through the first five games. That led Pittsburgh head coach Mike Tomlin to a breaking point last Sunday voicing his disapproval about the way games are being officiated. 

"But some of the other stuff, man, is a joke," Tomlin said after last week's game against Atlanta. "We gotta get better as a National Football League. Man, these penalties are costing people games and jobs. We gotta get 'em correct. And so I'm pissed about it, to be quite honest with you. But that's all I'm gonna say on it."

Tomlin, who is on the league's competition committee, has not been happy with the Steelers also leading the league with six unnecessary roughness infractions. It will be imperative for Cincinnati to maintain their composure, especially after last year's game at Paul Brown Stadium where the Bengals committed season highs of 13 penalties for 173 yards.

"There were too many penalties in the game, which I would deem as reckless because there were personal foul penalties called," Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis said. "That's an issue no one likes."

Ground Control – There are basic tenants to the Bengals' early season success – win the turnover battle, limit the big play and successfully run the football. Success on the ground might be the most important part given the Steelers defense and potential weather forecast.

In Pittsburgh's three non-victories, the Steelers defense has allowed 133.33 rushing yards per game. Conversely, in the Bengals' four victories, Cincinnati has three 100-yard rushing games. While much of the national focus will be on Pittsburgh's secondary allowing 296.2 passing yards per game, the Steelers have enough offensive firepower to put up points in bunches.

Pressure Points - Even without running back Le'Veon Bell, the Steelers still have one of the most versatile and lethal offensive groupings in franchise history with Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown, JuJu Smith-Schuster and Vance McDonald producing at a highly efficient clip.

One of the best ways to stop a dynamic offense is to generate a consistent pass rush. The Bengals have 13 sacks this season, 10 coming from the dynamic duo of Geno Atkins and Carlos Dunlap. Yet a big reason for the Bengals' comeback against Miami was Michael Johnson, Andrew Billings and Sam Hubbard generating pressure to force the second-half turnovers. 

It will be interesting to see how the defensive coordinators adjust to the offensive potency in-game. The Bengals rank fourth in the NFL averaging 30.6 points per game, with the Steelers just behind at 28.6.

Kickoff: 1 p.m. Eastern.

Television: The game will air on CBS. In the Bengals' home region, it will be carried by WKRC-TV (Ch. 12) in Cincinnati, WHIO-TV (Ch. 7) in Dayton and on WKYT-TV (Ch. 27) in Lexington. Broadcasters are Ian Eagle (play-by-play), Dan Fouts (analyst) and Evan Washburn (sideline reporter).

Radio: The game will air on the Bengals Radio Network, led by Cincinnati flagship stations WLW-AM (700), WCKY-AM (ESPN 1530) and WEBN-FM (102.7). Broadcasters are Dan Hoard (play-by-play) and Dave Lapham (analyst).

Tickets: Tickets may be purchased by calling the Bengals Ticket Hotline at (513) 621-8383, online at Bengals.com or by visiting the Paul Brown Stadium ticket office. The Bengals Ticket Hotline and ticket office will be open on Saturday from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. and on Sunday from 9 a.m. through the second quarter. Tickets may be purchased 24/7 through Bengals.com. 

Fans who purchase individual game tickets on Bengals.com or the Official Bengals app will not be subject to additional processing fees when choosing mobile tickets as the delivery option. Fans can call the Bengals Ticket Hotline or chat with a ticket representative online if they have any questions.

Photos from Thursday's practice in preparation for Sunday's game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Advertising