I'll be honest. Heading into this week, I didn't figure that many, or any, of the national sports writers would pick the Bengals to beat the Steelers in Week 10. The fact is that while the Bengals have beaten the Bills, Titans and beat the Seahawks in Seattle, they haven't played a team like the Steelers yet. This team, while good, still has a lot to prove.
Sports Illustrated's Peter King surprised me this morning by picking the Bengals to defeat the Steelers by a score of 24-20 on Sunday. I figured that the Bengals faithful (all of us) would be the only ones that would really pick the Bengals to win this week. That wasn't the case though, and it still isn't.
CBSSports.com senior writer Pete Prisco has picked the Bengals to win this week also, by a score of 20-17.
This is a huge game for both teams. The Steelers can't afford another loss in the division after losing to the Ravens last week. The Bengals are for real on defense. And we know the Steelers are. This shapes up as a low-scoring game with the team that makes the mistakes being the loser. I think it's the Steelers that make them.
Both teams have top-ranked defenses and while the Steelers offense is ranked higher than the Bengals', they haven't done too great against the league's top defenses. Against the Ravens they scored seven in one game and 20 in another and they only managed to score 10 points against Houston.
While you may view this as the Bengals not flying under the radar anymore, that's a price teams pay for success. I view it as the team earning the resect they deserve after winning six games through the first half of the season.
I can't wait for Sunday.