Then comes the game that seems to be a pick ’em at this point. The Cowboys visit PBS to face Cincinnati in a game of momentum. I say that because this game will depend on which team has the upward trend coming in. If the Cowboys take advantage of an easy schedule before the Bengals and are looking to make things interesting against the Giants for the NFC East, expect a very, very close game. That being said, I have the Bengals riding the hot streak, and playing at home as well. Bengals 31-27 in overtime.
The Eagles are a mess right now. Michael Vick recently suffered a concussion that could potentially end his career. What looked like a close game between two playoff-caliber teams at seasons’ start will likely turn into a easy win for Cincinnati. I fully expect the Bengals to get a must-win game in Philadelphia and head into Heinz field on an upbeat. Bengals 24-14.
Ah, Heinz field, and the Pittsburgh Steelers. By this time of the season, Big Ben should have a healed arm, and renewed vision of a playoff run. This will be an important game for both teams, and I think whoever has the ball last will win in a one-score game. Bengals come in with momentum, but it’s hard to tell if that will be enough to avenge their loss on Sunday Night Football earlier in the season. Steelers 23-20.
The Ravens looked really good after manhandling the Raiders. Yes, it was the Raiders, but I expect them to stay hot this second half. Their defense is banged up, but their offense is clicking. They’ll be hungry for the playoffs, but won’t look past Cincinnati. Close game, but Baltimore takes it, 27-23.
That puts the Bengals at finishing 9-7, just like last year, and finally clinching two winning seasons in a row. That being said, I’m not sure if that will mean a trip to the playoffs as a wild-card or not. The Colts look to be playing very good football of late, and would certainly hold a tie-breaker at this point. We’ll have to see what happens down the stretch. The real challenge for the Bengals will be to see if they can find a way to win either of their last two games against the AFC North elites. If they do, that changes the field of play completely.