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Week 15 - @Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles and Andy Reid are well and truly in win-now mode, despite having a record that matches many others. The Eagles have suffered the brunt of media criticism, fairly or not, and they need to fix it fast.
Mike Vick has the uncanny ability of being the worst QB in the league one week, and a total revelation the next. Expect the latter in Week 15.
Despite having not much to play for in the second half of 2011, the Eagles got better and better as the year went on.
They can still make the playoffs right now, and with a home game against the Bengals on Thursday Night Football, expect them to make the most of the occasion.
Week 16 - @Pittsburgh Steelers
Heinz Field has never been a particularly fun venue for the Bengals.
Big Ben and the Steelers may be getting older, but they have already proved once this year that they can still comfortably beat the Bengals.
The Bengals couldn't stop the Steelers on the ground or through the air in their first meeting this year.
The Steelers may be getting older and having injury issues, but the Bengals are having serious teething problems.
I expected the Bengals to get a win over Pittsburgh in 2012...just not at Heinz Field.
Week 17 - Baltimore Ravens
Sixteen weeks later and these two meet again. This time in Cincinnati.
Andy Dalton will be one game away from the end of his sophomore year, and if things play out the way I have predicted, a playoff spot may be just out of reach.
With nothing to play for, the Bengals can take the role of spoiler, and cost the Ravens home field advantage in the playoffs.
I expect the Bengals to rise to the occasion and pull off what they couldn't in the season finale last year.
It may be the last time we see Mike Zimmer, Jay Gruden and Marvin Lewis together and I fully expect them to pull off a huge upset here and end on a high, playoffs or not.