TV Schedule: Sunday, Dec. 15, 8:30 p.m. ET, NBC
Stadium: Heinz Field
Weather: High 33, Low 13
Line: Cincinnati (-3)
After a slow start to the season, the Pittsburgh Steelers have come on as of late and are desperately fighting for a playoff berth. It looks like the Steelers have experienced somewhat of a resurgence in the past month or more and Ben Roethlisberger is playing his best football of the season, passing for 3,724 yards and 24 touchdowns while hitting Antonio Brown a team-high 90 times for 1,240 yards and seven touchdowns. Le’Veon Bell leads the run game in his first year in the NFL with 589 yards and four touchdowns on the season. The team is looking like it is getting stronger as the weeks go on.
On the other side of the field, the Cincinnati Bengals are the favorites to win the division right now with a 9-4 record and two-game lead over the Baltimore Ravens. Andy Dalton has had an up-and-down season but has been playing solid football as of late, passing for 3,419 yards and 25 touchdowns on the year while hitting his favorite target A.J. Green more often than not. Green has caught 78 passes for 1,175 yards and eight touchdowns while the next closest receiver, Marvin Jones, has just 518 yards and eight scores. Giovani Bernard is one of the best young running backs in the league, rushing for 620 yards and four touchdowns on 4.7 yards per carry.
Defensively, the Bengals have been one of the best and most consistent teams on the season. Cincinnati ranks eighth in total yards and passing yards per game while also ranking sixth in points allowed and fifth in rushing yards allowed. Pittsburgh has been relatively disappointing on defense this season, ranking 12th in total yards allowed, seventh in passing yards allowed and 24th in rushing yards allowed per game.
PREDICTION: Bengals 34, Steelers 30
Connor Muldowney is a columnist for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @Connormuldowney, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google. You can also reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.