2013 has been a roller coaster ride for both the Cincinnati Bengals and the Buffalo Bills in 2013, today these up and down rides clash. One will go down another drop, while the other moves up a little higher with a win. Recent battles between these teams in Ralph Wilson Stadium, where the Bills will play host today, suggest that Buffalo will walk out as the victor.
The Bengals have not won in Buffalo since 1985. They need to break that streak to keep up with Baltimore atop the AFC North.
Buffalo on the other hand finds itself in the thick of an AFC East race that was supposed to be handed to the Patriots. New England looks far from the Patriots of recent years, and could very well drop a few more games if Cincinnati provided a blueprint on how to beat them last week. Miami and the Jets both look good as well, so the Bills need a win to keep pace.
It is hard to imagine the Bengals riding much higher than they are right now. Not only did they stop Tom Brady and the Patriots from scoring a touchdown via the pass, a nearly impossible feat, but they also out dueled Aaron Rodgers and the Packers just two weeks before that. This team has the talent to make some noise this season.
The Bills also have some quality wins on their 2-3 record. Victories over Carolina and Baltimore show that this team has the talent to win immediately with EJ Manuel at quarterback. All three losses came by a single score, including a two point loss to the Patriots.
The issue here is that Manuel isn’t playing. Thad Lewis will be at quarterback, and the Bengals defense will feast on him.
Fred Jackson has been remarkable at age 32 rushing the football, and CJ Spiller finally showed the breakaway ability that made him a preseason pick for superstardom heading into this season. If they can move the ball on the ground against this stout Bengals front, they have a chance.
It’s just that running the ball against the Bengals is not easy, not with Geno Atkins clogging up the middle at defensive tackle. This front seven is no joke, and will make it very difficult for the Bills backs to get going.
The Bengals have struggled with protecting the football this year, and the Bills defense will look to capitalize on the mistakes quarterback Andy Dalton has continually made this season. The Bengals need to call low risk plays and let Dalton manage the game. If they can do that, and find a way to get star receiver AJ Green going, this game could be over early.
Prediction: Bengals 21, Bills 10