The legendary opening win comes at a potentially high cost to the Steelers

PITTSBURGH (AP) – No replacement for TJ Watt. his energy. his talent. its production.

The NFL Defensive Player of the Year is a unique core presence, a staple of the Pittsburgh Steelers defensive pool for five seasons of nearly unparalleled brilliance.

Watt is the fulcrum of a unit that each time seemed like the hawks and snarls the Steelers needed during their epic 23-20 inaugural win over Cincinnati.

The Pittsburgh Steelers will likely try to replace Watt, at least for a while. A left chest injury he sustained in the late fourth quarter while trying to sack Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow made Watt’s condition uncertain, resulting in a win on the road that provided a blueprint for how the Steelers needed to play if they wanted to hang out in North Asia.

Seven bags. Five rotation. 6. Choose the position of the goal line. The Pittsburgh defense checked nearly every box against Burrow and JaMarr Chase & Co while ending a three-game losing streak against defending champions AFC.