The Cincinnati Bengals sit at 7-6, third in the AFC North, and right outside the playoff picture but all of that could change in a matter of one week. The stripes could find themselves as high as first in the North and holding onto one of the top four playoff spots or last in the North and their playoff chances dwindling.
The Bengals have lost two consecutive games after winning two in a row, and it is genuinely do-or-die time for the squad if they want to make a run at the division title and the postseason.
The final four games of the season are difficult, there’s no debating that. Cincinnati will face the Broncos (7-6), Ravens (8-5), Chiefs (9-4), and Browns (7-6) to close out the season, meaning that, as of now, they won’t face a team with a losing record for the rest of the year.
With that said, here are my predictions for the final four games of the regular season.
Week 15 – @ Broncos (Sunday, Dec. 19 — 4:05 EST)
The Bengals head to Mile High this weekend to take on the 7-6 Denver Broncos in a pivotal AFC showdown. This won’t be an easy game for the good guys, but with so much riding on the outcome and coming off two losses, fans should expect them to show up and play hard-nosed football that matches that Denver style. This game will come down to a lot of different things.
Can the Bengals…
- … apply pressure on Teddy Bridgewater at a consistent rate?
- … limit turnovers?
- … stop the run?
Cincinnati is tough to beat when they don’t turn over the football but they tend to lose when they help the opposing team out by setting them up with great opportunities like they did many times against the 49ers. They gifted the Niners 10 points last week off turnovers.
The Broncos have a tough defense, but it’s not something Joe Burrow and company haven’t seen in the past. The stripes need to take care of the ball, or it will be another long Sunday. Applying pressure will be critical on the defensive side of the ball.
Cincinnati did an excellent job against the 49ers rushing the passer, and that will need to be the same in this game. Although, stopping Javonte Williams and Melvin Gordon out of the backfield will be a point of emphasis for the defense. The defense needs to find ways to limit chunk plays and shut down the run. This will be an exciting game and will have a lot of implications riding on the final score.