Until the Bengals at least win a playoff game, they'll get little to no respect when it comes to preseason predictions. So, it comes as no surprise the Bengals were shutout of the CBS Sports Super Bowl predictions.
The Green Bay Packers, New England Patriots, San Francisco 49ers. Seattle Seahawks and New Orleans Saints were among the CBS staff's picks. It's hard to argue with any of those teams. All five of those teams have made it to at the divisional round of the playoffs at least once in the past two seasons.
The Pittsburgh Steelers haven't even made it to the playoffs for two years, yet Will Brinson has Pittsburgh making it all the way to the Super bowl to face the Saints in Super Bowl XLIX.
The Saints and the Steelers don't have the easiest paths, but they have the weapons to contend with said paths. Thanks to reinvigorated (Pittsburgh) and reestablished (New Orleans) defenses, these two teams find balance. They also find a pair of incredible young "space" rookies in Dri Archer and Brandin Cooks, who help take their explosive offensives to new heights.
The Steelers are a 12-win team in my book and winners of the AFC North after Ben Roethlisberger commands their no-huddle offense to MVP-worthy numbers and an upset the heavily-favored Broncos in a shootout at Mile High in the AFC Championship Game.
Again, Pittsburgh has not made the playoffs in two straight years, nor have they had a winning record in that span. Even the most optimistic Steelers fans have to be looking at this and shaking their head.
I can however see Pitt getting 10-to-11 wins because of their schedule. I just can't see them beating either New England or Denver to get to a Super Bowl. They're going to have a tough time just winning the AFC North if the Bengals have anything to say about it.
To me, this is just another example of the media's "just because" mentality.