NFL Week 16: Bengals vs. Steelers

22

Dec 2012

POSTED IN Matchups | no comments

Cincinnati Bengals @ Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday, Dec. 23, 2012 1 p.m. ET

The AFC North division title is on the line in Week 16 with three teams battling it out for the division crown. The Pittsburgh Steelers are simply trying to stay alive in the AFC playoff hunt with a win while the Cincinnati Bengals can clinch a playoff berth by taking down at Heinz Field on Sunday. As for the division-leading Baltimore Ravens, Joe Flacco and company will be attempting to bounce back after losing the last three straight heading into Week 16 against the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants. The Ravens have already clinched a playoff berth before taking the field against the Giants on Sunday, but still have a shot to win the division title. The most desperate of the two AFC North teams coming into this matchup is without a doubt the Steelers. Ben Roethlisberger and company have struggle as of late with four losses in the last five games. All these losses have come at an inopportune time for Pittsburgh with their playoff hopes slipping away as a result. Without a drastic turnaround in the last two games against the Bengals and Cleveland Browns, the Steelers will be watching the postseason from home. The Bengals on the other hand have a chance to punch their ticket to the playoffs with a win over the Steelers on Sunday. Cincinnati has won five of the last six games putting a lot of pressure on the division-leading Ravens for the division title. Although the Bengals won’t wrap up the division crown with a win at Heinz Field this weekend, Cincinnati will be playoff bound regardless and that’s enough motivation to head into Pittsburgh and come out with a win over a struggling Steelers squad. Once Week 16 is behind them, Andy Dalton and company will finish out the 2012 regular season going up against the Ravens at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati. That game may ultimately decide the winner of the AFC North depending on the outcomes of this weekend. At this point in time, the Steelers are favored to get the win at home in Pittsburgh with a -4 point spread. Although the Steelers are a resilient football team and have been successful in the past when pushed into a corner towards the end of the season, I believe the Bengals will get the win over their division rivals on Sunday or at least make a much closer game than predicted.

Prediction: Bengals +4

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