Doug Farrar with Yahoo! Sports picks every NFL game each week with an explanation. During his paragraph-long preview for Cincinnati's Week Nine game against the Broncos, Farrar not only has Denver winning, but winning big with a predicted 35-14 score.
The Bengals selected Alabama cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick with the 17th overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, only to watch and wait as the talented defender spent the first half of the season recovering from a knee injury. Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer says that Kirkpatrick is a cinch to make his NFL debut against the Broncos, and Zimmer could certainly use him -- and anyone else who can cover. The Bengals currently rank 29th in Football Outsiders' opponent-adjusted metrics against the pass, and their task this Sunday looks just about impossible -- shutting down Peyton Manning, who has been as effective in the last few weeks as he's been at any time in his great career. Meanwhile, Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton, who looked great in his rookie season of 2011, is trying to avoid becoming the first signal-caller in team history to throw an interception in each of his first eight games of a season. This would be a perversely impressive accomplishment for a franchise that has counted Akili Smith and David Klingler among its passers. Denver's defense is gaining confidence at the wrong time for Dalton.
It's a hard preview to counter, with arguments against the Bengals having mounted all week. In fact the best we can do at this point is revert to the whole "Any Given Sunday" perspective.