The Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns aren’t the only AFC North teams facing off this Sunday. We will also get to see the classic rivalry of the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers.
This game lost a little bit of its pop when it was announced that quarterback Lamar Jackson won’t be able to participate this week following an injury that will keep him out one to three weeks. However, we all know division games can’t be counted before they play. This team was still able to pull off a win last week after losing Jackson. Even if it was against the Denver Broncos, it still does something for the confidence of this unit.
On the other side, the Steelers are still technically in the hunt for a playoff spot at (5-7), but even if they won out they would need serious help. However, if rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett isn’t able to put enough offense together this week you can just put a nail to shut this team’s coffin. What will be really interesting is if head coach Mike Tomlin can keep his streak of never having a losing season going. Two more losses and that impressive streak is over.
The real AFC game that will catch most people’s attention is the Miami Dolphins going into Los Angeles to take on the Chargers. Both of these teams are battling for Wild Card spots. Miami has the extra motivation of only being a game behind the Buffalo Bills for the division as well.
This was supposed to be the Chargers’ year. Many thought they were a dangerous team that could have snuck into the playoffs last season before blowing it. They have really failed quarterback Justin Herbert this year. The weapons haven’t been good and the defense that they put a lot of capital into has struggled to give this offense a chance to put teams away. They are currently (6-6), and a loss would be catastrophic for their chances as they are already on the outside looking in.
Meanwhile, the Dolphins couldn’t beat the San Francisco 49ers even after they lost quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. This offense has serious speed with Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle at wide receiver, but they just could not get off the ground last week against a good 49ers defense.
Here are the staff’s picks for Sunday. This is also the pregame thread for Bengals - Browns, so come join the discussion!