Denver Broncos vs. Cincinnati Bengals Preview
Where: Paul Brown Stadium – Cincinnati, Ohio
When: Sunday, September 25, 1:00 PM ET
TV Broadcast: CBS
Writer’s Pick: Cincinnati Bengals (-3.5)
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Betting on the Denver Broncos (+3.5)
Aside from holding the two prolific passers to under 200 yards, the defense has also forced five turnovers in the first two games. They turned both takeaways against the Colts into touchdowns.
The Bengals offense has been unable to establish a decent running game through the first two games, and they will struggle to do so against a terrific Broncos front. That should only give the Broncos pass rush even more opportunities to put pressure on Dalton.
However, that pass rush could be without an important piece after DeMarcus Ware broke his forearm in the Colts win. While the Trevor Siemian-led offense has been fine, it remains to be seen if it can produce enough points if the defense isn’t firing on all cylinders like it had been in the first two games.
Betting on the Cincinnati Bengals (-3.5)
It’s been a tough start to the season for the Bengals. They’ve split their two matchups against playoff-caliber teams in the Jets and Steelers on the road, and they face the Super Bowl champs next. But the good news is that they’ll be back at home, where they have lost just twice in the last two years to teams not named the Steelers.
The offensive line, as expected, improved after giving up seven sacks in Week 1. But Andy Dalton is still working out some kinks in his offense, which has a couple of new receivers and is still missing tight end Tyler Eifert.
Dalton and co. will find it tough to gain a ton of yardage against a very good Broncos D, although they should be able to find ways to move the ball a bit. Giovani Bernard is a capable weapon who can (and probably will) be called upon often against Denver. Bernard had nine catches for 100 yards and a touchdown in their 24-16 loss to the Steelers on Sunday.
While the Denver defense is great, the Bengals D is not bad either. It limited the Jets and Steelers – two of the most prolific offenses in the league – to relatively ineffective games on the road. Their pass rush pressured Ben Roethlisberger on nearly half his snaps, and picked him off twice.
Siemian is a turnover-prone quarterback – he has three in two starts – and will be starting his first career NFL road game. The Bengals defense is capable of forcing a couple more miscues, which should in turn benefit their offense in terms of field position.
The Bengals defense gets the better of the Broncos offense, as Siemian struggles in his first NFL road start. Take Cincy (-3.5) to win and cover, 21-17.
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