Now that Joe Burrow won't be suiting up for the Cincinnati Bengals for the rest of the year, fans shouldn't be surprised to see analysts picking against them in every game moving forward. That's how important Burrow is for this team, as any franchise quarterback is for their respective team.
This week's game against the Jacksonville Jaguars would have been a lot of fun had Burrow been healthy. We'd have the rematch of Burrow vs. Trevor Lawrence from the 2020 National Championship Game when Burrow was an LSU Tiger and Lawrence was a Clemson Tiger. Burrow has won both games these two have squared off in (that one and the 2021 Bengals/Jaguars game) so it wouldn't have been surprising to see Cincinnati favored in this one or at least slight underdogs.
Instead, the Jags are big-time favorites. As of Thursday morning, the Jaguars were sitting as 8.5-point favorites by FanDuel over the back-to-back AFC North champion Bengals. That's how much of a swing it is when Burrow is out for the Bengals. They're not feared by anyone and this week's expert predictions reflect that.
Bengals vs. Jaguars Week 13 predictions
Prisco's Week 13 NFL picks: Cowboys keep rolling at home, 49ers get revenge on Eagles, Saints upset Lions [Pete Prisco, CBS Sports]
The Pick: Jaguars 28, Bengals 13
Prisco thinks that the Jaguars will win big this week, as Jake Browning makes his first road start. He's not wrong when he says that this match-up has lost its shine, as we all would have loved to see Joe Burrow and Trevor Lawrence duking it out rather than Lawrence and Browning.
"This game has lost a lot of its luster with the loss of Joe Burrow. Jacksonville is coming off a big division victory, which sometimes can lead to a letdown. But since this is on Monday night, and they haven't been in this spot since 2011, there will be no letdown. They get the best of Jake Browning in his first road start. "- Pete Prisco
NFL Week 13 picks: 49ers top Eagles in NFC thriller, Packers take Chiefs to the wire on Sunday night [John Breech, CBS Sports]
The Pick: Jaguars 20, Bengals 16
Breech has this game being a lot more competitive and his reasoning for that is that he didn't think Browning played all that bad against the Steelers.
"Does that mean he'll be able to dice up the Jaguars' secondary? When it comes to the Jaguars' defense, it's almost impossible to run on them, but that won't really matter to the Bengals, because they can't run the ball (They rank dead last in the NFL with 75.8 rushing yards per game). On the other hand, the Jags' have struggled to stop the pass, which could open the door for Browning to have a surprisingly good night. "- John Breech
NFL picks, predictions for Week 13: Chiefs plow over Packers, Broncos upset Texans, Rams roll Browns [Bill Bender, Sporting News]
The Pick: Jaguars 26, Bengals 17
Bender thinks the Jaguars' first game on Monday Night Football since 2011 will end up as a comfortable win for them.
"Jake Browning proved capable when he got the ball out quick for the Bengals, but he still took four sacks in his starting debut. Jacksonville has settled into a rhythm despite two blowout losses at home this season. The Jaguars have not been on Monday Night Football since 2011 – so anticipate a rowdy crowd here. Trevor Lawrence – who averages 303 passing yards the last two weeks – does the rest. "- Bill Bender