The Cincinnati Bengals (5-5) will host the Oakland Raiders (3-7) in an AFC matchup between two capable teams playing below their potential. In addition, Raiders quarterback and former Bengal Carson Palmer returns to Cincinnati.
The Bengals have the misfortune of playing in the brutal AFC North, which has limited their success, regardless of Pittsburgh's relatively sluggish start to the season.
After a promising 3-1 start to the season, the Bengals entered a demoralizing four-game losing streak that included a loss to the woeful Cleveland Browns. But now that they have won their last two games, the Bengals are very much back in the hunt.
Oakland's story has been a bit more depressing.
After a dreadful 1-4 start to the season, the Raiders picked up back-to-back wins against the Jaguars and Chiefs, which renewed their optimism. But the party was short-lived and the Raiders have dropped their last three games.
The Raiders desperately need a win this Sunday as a confidence builder, but the Bengals can reclaim a winning record with a victory, making them a determined and dangerous opponent for Oakland.
Regardless of the outcome, this should be an entertaining showdown between two talented teams with something to prove.
Where: Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, Ohio
When: Sunday, November 25, 1 p.m. ET
Watch: CBS, DirecTV 707, NFL Sunday Ticket (Live Stream)
Listen: Sirius 113 (Oakland), Sirius 91 (Cincinnati)
Spread: Cincinnati -6 (Odds Shark)
If you have faith in a Bengals victory, then chances are you're a fan of the "over," especially since every Cincinnati victory this season has been by at least seven points.
Meanwhile, two of Oakland's three victories were by a mere three points, while all but one of their seven losses were by eight or more points.
Cincinnati also owns home-field advantage, which makes it likely they'll win this game by more than a touchdown.
Over/Under: 48 (Odds Shark)
The 2011 additions of Andy Dalton and A.J. Green have provided the Bengals with an offensive boost, as they currently rank 12th in the NFL with 24.8 points per game on average.
The Raiders have not been as impressive, but they have remained close to average with 20.8 points per game.
With these two averages, at least one team will have to step up and perform above the status quo in order to reach the "over."
Since each team has reached a 30-point total just once in the last five games, it's probably best to stick with the "under."
Cincinnati Bengals Injury Report (ESPN)
S Reggie Nelson (Hamstring)
WR Andrew Hawkins (Knee)
CB Terrance Newman (Concussion)
Oakland Raiders Injury Report (ESPN)
DT Richard Seymour (Hamstring)
RB Darren McFadden (Knee)
RB Mike Goodson (Knee)
S Tyvon Branch (Neck)
QB Carson Palmer (Oakland Raiders)
Carson Palmer has been an overlooked quarterback as of late, but he has been once of the more valuable backup quarterbacks in fantasy football this season.
Palmer has six straight games with an interception, which is a problem, but he has exceeded 300 yards with multiple touchdowns in each of the last three games.
In fact, Palmer has surpassed 200 yards in every game this season and has at least one touchdown in nine of his 10 starts.
And to add to the fun, this is the first time Palmer has faced his former Bengals team since their bitter divorce, which means Palmer will do everything in his power to put on a show.
QB Andy Dalton (Cincinnati Bengals)
Andy Dalton has thrown for seven touchdowns and just one interception in the last three games. He isn't a stat juggernaut, but his consistency has been impressive this season.
With a four-touchdown performance against the Giants two weeks ago and a two-touchdown game last in Kansas City last week, Dalton will not experience a decline against a mediocre Oakland pass defense that ranks 24th in the NFL (253.2 yards per game).
If your starter has a questionable matchup this week and Dalton is riding your bench, it may be time to give him a shot.
WR A.J. Green (Cincinnati Bengals)
In just his second NFL season, A.J. Green is already performing like an elite wide receiver and has been finding the end zone with near record-setting consistency.
AJ. Green has a TD catch in nine straight games. That's the longest streak since JERRY RICE had 12 straight in 1987.— ESPN (@espn) November 18, 2012
With a touchdown in every game since Week 2, Green has rapidly become a must-start player on a weekly basis.
Green is also showing consistency in yardage, with 85 or more yards in four of his last five games, and is on pace for more than 1,400 yards.
The Cincinnati Bengals recently snapped a four-game losing streak and they are not looking to fall into a similar slump again this season.
The Bengals have regained their focus and will do their best to keep it that way for the remaining six games of the season.
Also, with San Diego, Dallas, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Baltimore remaining on their schedule, it's possible that Sunday's game against Oakland is the easiest game remaining on Cincinnati's schedule. Don't expect the Bengals to spoil possibly their final opportunity for a convincing win.
As for Oakland, their three-game losing streak and the possible absence of running backs Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson makes this an unlikely victory for them.
Add in Cincinnati's home-field advantage, and it's very tough to go against the Bengals.