What We Saw: Week 10

The QB List staff catches you up on everything you missed during Week 10 of the 2020 NFL season.

Bengals @ Steelers


In the first matchup between these division rivals, it was all Steelers as they came out on top over the Bengals 36-10. There was not much to cheer about for Bengals fans, as the Pittsburgh defense shut them down on every third-down conversion attempt and kept the pressure on Joe Burrow the entire night. The Bengals’ defense was completely mismatched all day, allowing the Steelers’ passing game to produce fantasy-relevant games for each of their receivers.


Cincinnati Bengals




Joe Burrow: 21/40, 213 yards, 1 TD, 4 sacks


Joe Burrow was not his usual self on Sunday, as the Steelers’ defense continued to put pressure on him all game, forcing him to overthrow some passes and just work to get the ball out. What was impressive was that the pressure did not force him to throw any interceptions or fumble the ball, though there were a few passes that were close to an interception. He did throw for his one touchdown pass early in the second quarter down by the goal line on a good slant pattern to his top target Tee Higgins.


Running Backs


Samaje Perine: 7 carries, 48 yards | 1 target, 1 reception, 7 yards

Giovani Bernard.: 8 carries, 30 yards | 7 targets, 4 receptions, 17 yards


With Joe Mixon out another game with his injury, that should mean another good performance for Giovani Bernard right? Not in this game, as the Bengals made sure to split their backfield work between Bernard and Samaje Perine, with Perine looking like the better runner when they actually got the chance to run the ball. However, the game script was flipped because of the early deficit, and the Bengals were forced to throw the ball for most of the day.


Wide Receivers/Tight Ends


Tee Higgins: 9 targets, 7 receptions, 115 yards, 1 TD

Tyler Boyd: 8 targets, 6 receptions, 41 yards

A.J. Green: 5 targets, 0 receptions, 0 yards

Auden Tate: 4 targets, 2 receptions, 24 yards

Drew Sample: 2 targets, 1 reception, 9 yards


Though the targets may say otherwise, the clear number one in this offense was Tee Higgins. Higgins was the receiver that Joe Burrow was willing to take deep shots with, and also who he looked to in key situations, including this touchdown reception on 4th and goal to put the Bengals on the board. Though he did have a fumble early in the 1st quarter, that did not stop the Bengals from looking his way and trying to get him the ball.



While Higgins had himself a day on Sunday, emerging as the number 1 receiver, Tyler Boyd was also looked to early in drives to try and gain some momentum while dinking and dunking. He looked good in those opportunities, including a close catch along the sideline that was ultimately called back. Joe Burrow also tried looking the way of A.J. Green on third-down conversion attempts, however, the Steelers’ defense really shut him down all day and forced a goose egg on Green’s stat sheet.


Pittsburgh Steelers




Ben Roethlisberger: 27/46, 333 yards, 4 TDs | 1 carry, 0 yards


The potential knee injury suffered last week, and the week off of practice due to the close contact placing him on the COVID IR, did not seem to have any effect on Ben Roethlisberger as he likely had his best game of the entire season. The Steelers offensive line did a great job protecting him all game, allowing him the time to move the ball around and take shots downfield as well. With this time, he was able to throw for 4 touchdowns to his three top receivers. Among these touchdowns was a slant down by the goalline to Diontae Johnson, a nice pass to the back of the endzone to Juju Smith-Schuster after moving up in the pocket to avoid the sack, and two more slants down at the goalline to Chase Claypool.



Running Backs


James Conner: 13 carries, 36 yards| 2 targets, 2 receptions, 12 yards

Benny Snell Jr.: 3 carries, 12 yards


James Conner had himself a really strange game, in the sense that even with the big lead the Steelers had, they did not let up or move to the run game. Even when he got the opportunities, he did not exactly look great while not being able to break off any major runs. While Benny Snell Jr. did come in every once in a while to spell him, the Steelers kept to a passing first offensive gameplan to continue running up the score.


Wide Receivers/Tight Ends


Diontae Johnson: 11 targets, 6 receptions, 116 yards, 1 TD

Juju Smith-Schuster: 13 targets, 9 receptions, 77 yards, 1 TD

Chase Claypool: 10 targets, 4 receptions, 56 yards, 2 TDs

Eric Ebron: 6 targets, 2 receptions, 38 yards

James Washington: 2 targets, 2 receptions, 30 yards


With this matchup against the Cincinnati secondary, the Steelers were able to attack through the air, leading to fantasy-relevant games from each of their main pass catchers. First, it was Diontae Johnson, who used his speed to break off a few longer receptions including a connection early on with the deep ball, which set up this 12-yard touchdown reception.



Next, we saw Juju Smith-Schuster, who was actually the Steelers’ most targeted receiver, who Roethlisberger leaned on for potential third-down conversions on their drives. The repetoire the two of them have was clear, as Smith-Schuster showed off his speed and ability to pick up yards after the catch, setting up this touchdown to the back of the endzone on third down.



Though Roethlisberger and Chase Claypool had trouble connecting on the deep ball in this game, their continued conversations on the sideline led to Roethlisberger continuing to look his way, especially down in the red zone where he caught his two touchdowns, including this 5-yard slant to extend the Pittsburgh lead.



Eric Ebron did not find his way in the endzone and may not have had the most successful day on paper, but it was clear that Roethlisberger was still looking to get him involved, looking for him on third-down conversion attempts and breaking open over the middle for a good chunk of yards.


— Callen Elslager (@callen_elslager on Twitter and Reddit)

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