Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 9/11/13
The Steelers looked old, the Bengals looked ready to challenge the rest of the NFL.While both teams lost their opening games of the season, the teams that stepped out on the field were completely different.The fact this is a Monday night game adds to the possible defensive battle and the idea that for the first time in his career, James Harrison will be opposing the Steelers instead of helping them win.Can the Steelers rebound from a loss to the Titans and show they are not a team about fall off the ledge of potential playoff contenders? Does Cincinnati come out and play like their are the new leaders in the clubhouse known as the AFC North?Both Mike Tomlin and Marvin Lewis will be ready, so will there teams.Here are three bold predictions for this NFC North battle.AJ Green runs over the Steelers secondaryI think the AJ Green/Andy Dalton connection could be very good this season. And when I say good, I mean Montana to Rice good.Yes, you can quote me on that.If Green can look like Rice against the Bears secondary, just think what he can do against the Steelers?Look for Green to catch 12 passes and about 185 yards in the air and maybe a touchdown or two.James Harrison loves karmaIf there was ever a night to make a statement, James Harrison will make this a statement the sports stations will talk about all week.Get ready for the highlight reel.This could be a game where Harrison stops the run, sacks Ben Roethlisberger about three times and then does the post game interview with a huge smile on his face.Harrison in a linebacking corps with Vontaze Burfict and a front line that is one of the most underrated in the NFL. I think this is only the beginning. Harrison will use the game to inspire him to have a huge season.We see how great Giovani Bernard isI am waiting for the Bengals to give Bernard the ball and then we get to see what he can do.Bernard running and catching passes could keep the Steelers defense on the defensive. Yes, that was a joke.Bernard in my opinion will still be the best rookie back in the league. How does he do against the second wall of Steelers defense? Will he move chains? Will he spread out and play in the slot?We will also get to see how good a blocker he can be.
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