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Kickoff Time: 8:30 PM Eastern
Network: NBC, Sunday Night Football
Along with the Baltimore Ravens, the Cincinnati Bengals are starting to shore up their status at the top of the AFC North. The Browns are also trending upward, so that leaves just the Pittsburgh Steelers, who are on a downward slide.
Granted, things will change starting next week in the draft, and continue to take shape as the offseason progresses, but at this point it's hard to look at this version of the Steelers and see the one that went to three Super Bowls in the past decade.
The Bengals have spent the past two years trying to build a resilient, well-rounded roster, and the result has been two winning seasons that have included playoff appearances. They have one of the best pass rushes in the league, an elite wide receiver in A.J. Green and seem to be on the brink of finally getting their run game in order.
On the other hand, the Steelers don't have one clear-cut star for Ben Roethlisberger to throw to, as well as a run game with more questions than answers and a defense that appears to be getting weaker rather than stronger. The Bengals have also been peskier for the Steelers when in Heinz Field.
Add all of these things together, and the Steelers don't seem to be up to the task of beating the Bengals in this matchup.
Prediction: Bengals, 21-16