NFL picks and predictions, Bengals vs. Steelers 2014: Pittsburgh favored to win
Both teams are playoff bound, but the AFC North title will be determined on Sunday.
Both the Cincinnati Bengals and Pittsburgh Steelers will be in the playoffs this season. However, only one will enter as a division winner. That distinction will be determined Sunday in the fight for the AFC North title.
The Bengals entered Week 16 with the division lead but a difficult task. They drew the Denver Broncos in a game they all but had to have. Despite Andy Dalton tossing a pick-six early in the game, Cincinnati rebounded in impressive fashion to win, 37-28. Paul Guenther’s defense forced Peyton Manning into four interceptions, something the reigning MVP had never done during his tenure in Denver. If the Bengals can play anywhere close to that level, they can compete with any team in the conference.
As for the Steelers, they enter the game with health concerns for quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. The 6’5 signal caller injured his knee last week against the Kansas City Chiefs but was able to continue playing. To take pressure off of Big Ben, Pittsburgh will lean on star running back Le’Veon Bell and dynamic wideout Antonio Brown. The duo leads the AFC in rushing yards and receiving yards, respectively, and will be difficult assignments for the Bengals defense.
The experts are mostly siding with Pittsburgh this week. Six members of CBS Sports‘ eight-man panel think Mike Tomlin’s crew will take the division.
Here at SB Nation, all but two of our experts are leaning toward the Steelers.
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