TV Schedule: Sunday, Oct. 13, 1:00 p.m. ET, CBS
Stadium: Ralph Wilson Stadium
Weather: High 69, Low 52
Line: Cincinnati (-7)
As one of the dark-horse teams to win the AFC North this season, the Cincinnati Bengals are just 3-2 to begin the season, but look to be gaining steam as the weeks progress. Andy Dalton is beginning to step his game up at quarterback, passing for 1,215 yards and five touchdowns on the year, but his pass protection has been spotty at best. He has been sacked 10 times in the past three weeks which has also led to three interceptions because of the immense pressure being placed on him. A.J. Green remains his favorite target with 31 catches for 361 yards and three touchdowns on the season while Tyler Eifert has proven to be a solid draft choice, catching 17 passes for 212 yards at tight end. Giovani Bernard and BenJarvus Green-Ellis both have 209 yards on the ground while splitting carries — also combining for five scores.
The Buffalo Bills suffered a devastating blow in week five, losing quarterback and first-round draft selection EJ Manuel to a knee injury that could keep him off the field for about a month. Thad Lewis will earn the start at quarterback this week, but only has one career start which came a year ago for the Cleveland Browns. He passed for 204 yards and a touchdown on 22-32 passing. This should be an interesting game with the inexperienced quarterback behind center — but that’s nothing new for the Bills. Stevie Johnson should give him some help at the wide receiver position as the veteran of the squad, catching a team-high 20 passes for 254 yards and two scores. While Fred Jackson leads the team in rushing with 309 yards and four scores, it looks like C.J. Spiller is on the right track to getting healthy with 296 yards and a score.
Defensively, the Bengals are the eighth-best unit in the NFL this season in terms of yards allowed per game. Ranking in the top-15 of nearly every major defensive category, the Bengals will give the inexperienced Lewis a tough game. The Bills rank in the bottom half of the league in most defensive categories, giving up the 12th-most yards per game in the league.
PREDICTION: Bengals 28, Bills 21