You will be hard pressed to find a game on the Week 8 NFL schedule which is more difficult to pick than the Pittsburgh Steelers showdown with AFC North rival Cincinnati Bengals at Heinz Field. This 1:00 p.m. EDT kickoff has the makings of a great game, as the Bengals come to the Steel City with a perfect 6-0 record coming off a bye, and the 4-3 Steelers look to make their case within the division.
The status of Ben Roethlisberger seems certain as he is listed as probable, and the franchise quarterback, who has won two Super Bowls for Pittsburgh, will make his return from a MCL sprain suffered in the Week 3 game against the St. Louis Rams. This will be the first week the Steelers will have their full complement of offensive weapons at their disposal. Roethlisberger combined with Le'Veon Bell, Martavis Bryant, Antonio Brown and Heath Miller look to exploit a Bengals defense not known for shutting down the opposition.
As for the Bengals, their roster might be the most complete in the NFL. Andy Dalton is playing inspired football, and the cast of characters around him are noteworthy to say the least. AJ Green combined with Tyler Eiffert, Giovani Bernard and Jeremy Hill have become one of the most prolific offenses in the NFL, not just the AFC North.
These two offenses could provide some fireworks Sunday at Heinz Field, and it proves to make an interesting matchup, and a difficult game to predict. This game will certainly come down to which defense can make the "splash" plays which could ultimately lead to victory for their team.
So what is your prediction? Will the Bengals stay perfect, or will the Steelers pull out the win at home? Enter your score prediction in the tool below. The predictions will be calculated, tabulated and compared with those of Cincy Jungle (SB Nation's Bengals website). Time to prove BTSC is the smartest of the two fan bases.
As for my prediction, the Steelers are a team which desperately needs this win to keep their division hopes alive. Despite their performance against the Chiefs in Week 7, this team has shown the ability to bounce back. The Steelers have done well against Andy Dalton, often forcing him into mistakes, and when it comes down to a Ben Roethlisberger, even at less than 100-percent, vs. Dalton, I'll take Roethlisberger every day and twice on Sundays.
After a slow start, the Steelers offense will start to click and will pull off the upset win.
Jeff Hartman's Prediction (BTSC Editor):