Last week, NFL analysts picked the Bengals to beat the Browns pretty much across the board. This week, that wasn't the case. That's because the Bengals are playing the Steelers and even though the two teams are heading into their Week 13 matchup with similar records, most believe that the Steelers are the better team. They have a Super Bowl-winning quarterback, a storied defense and they don't have the Bengals losing history.
If you thought that analysts would pick the Steelers to beat the Bengals in Pittsburgh across the board, you'd be wrong. Certainly the majority of the Steelers did pick the Steelers, but some didn't.
From the ESPN crew, which includes guys like Adam Schefter, Mike Golic, Ron Jaworski and Chris Mortensen, six of the eight analysts picked the Steelers. Only Chris Mortensen and Eric Allen picked the Bengals to win in Pittsburgh.
At Yahoo! Sports, which includes Michael Silver, Jason Cole and Les Carpenter, everybody other than Carpenter picked the Steelers.
Then came the individual picks.
Sports Illustrated's Peter King predicts the Bengals will lose to the Steelers by a score of 27-20.
Seminal game for the Bengals. (That means "strongly influencing later developments," for you non-Merriam-Webster fans.) Win here and they'd likely be in the playoff race in Week 17, when they host Baltimore. Lose here, and a fifth loss puts them behind the eight-ball in playoff contention. I've gone back and forth all week on this game, my faith in Andy Dalton outweighing what reality tells me most of the week -- until now. I think Dalton plays his typical valiant game, but Ben Roethlisberger to Antonio Brown or Mike Wallace wins this game late.
CBSSports.com's Pete Prisco also has the Steelers winning a close game on Sunday by a score of 24-21.
These two met three weeks ago and the Steelers won the game with a late stop of Andy Dalton and the Bengals offense. Cincinnati lost A.J. Green in that game and it showed up. Well, Green's back. And they will compete here again. The defense is still playing at a high level. The Steelers had trouble scoring at Kansas City, with the line having protection issues. That will be in play in this one, but the Steelers win a tight one.
And, of course, here is CBSSports.com's preview of the game: