November 30, 2009
Cincinnati's schedule has no divisional games left and they will lose two or three, or more, of their final five. I see the Bengals in a few trap games. They will lose going all the way to San Diego, and at Minnesota. If they lay an egg either against the Lions, Chiefs or Jets the Steelers will win the division, guaranteed. Look at the two team's remaining schedules. The Steelers have a better road to ho. Though the Steelers are tied with the Ravens they play the Ravens still so they control their own destiny where they are concerned. The Bengals finish is the determining factor in all this.
No team is to be taken lightly, but the Steelers play Week 13 home against the Raiders which should be a win, making the team 7-5. The Bengals play the Lions in Week 13 and will probably go to 9-3. Relax. Remember how they overlooked the Raiders, albeit going to Detroit is less of an intrusive trek; the Bengals could lose that game to be 8-4. If the Lions beat the Bengals, look out, because they will lose this thing to the Steelers. Guaranteed.
The Steelers Week 14 game is at Cleveland and, enough said, should move the team to 8-5. Cincinnati plays at Minnesota in Week 14. That will not be a good game. The Vikings will handle the Bengals. At home the Vikings are near unstoppable. That would make Cincinnati either 9-4 or maybe 8-5 if they choke against the Lions.
Week 15 the Steelers play the Packers at home and should win that game, going to 9-5, erasing the 3 game losing streak with a 3 game winning streak. I keep telling readers every season, for every team, involves streaks. Most teams, losing and winning streaks. Even champions have losing streaks they overcome which make them stronger in the end. Remember the Steelers of 2005? The Bengals play in week 15 at the Chargers. We already saw how well the Bengals handled that trek to the west coast when they laid an egg in Oakland. That will be a Bengals loss and they will have their losing streak to answer for. That will make the Bengals 9-5, maybe 8-6, and the Steelers 9-5. Uh oh. Look out.
Week 16 the Bengals play the Chiefs at home which they should win but remember what the Steelers did against the Chiefs and know that Cincinnati could end up with the same results. In all likelihood the Bengals will win and move to 10-5 or maybe only 9-6 while the Steelers play the rematch, with Ben at QB, against the Ravens and win to move to 10-5.
It could come down to the last weekend. Cincinnati plays at the Jets and the Steelers play at the Dolphins in Week 17. I have the feeling Cincinnati will lay an egg again this season. If they lose to the Jets and Steelers beat the Dolphins the Steelers would - you guessed it - win the AFC North.
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