Chris Ostrander (@2itb_buffalo)
I skipped last week but not purposefully. Had I predicted last week I would’ve gone with a loss, so my record is 1-3 and once again you should just skip over all of the stuff I write here. I’m taking the Bills this week as the defense is for real and despite the strides the Bengals have made on offense, I think the Bills have shown enough this year that they should be able to keep the Bengals offense quiet. Given where the team is after beating Denver and Atlanta, I think this is now a game you should expect them to win and I certainly feel that they will. Bills 23-13
Michael Necci (@manecci)
Bengals 20 – Bills 17 – Here is your back to reality week. The Bills will keep it close because their defense is very good, but I think Cincinnati will get a late TD to pull away. This is a game where if the Bills want us to take them seriously then they find a way to do it, until I see them win big conference games on the road, I’ll always pick against them.
Mike Migliore (@mmigliore) 2-2
Well I was not expecting to suddenly be emotionally invested into this Bills season, but here we are. I thought for sure that after the Jets game, this team would suddenly fall into a tailspin with a limited offense and new defense lacking for top-end talent. As it turns out, the defense is making huge plays and keeping teams off the scoreboard while Tyrod Taylor is doing just enough to get the Bills in the win column. Those back-to-back wins against Denver and (at) Atlanta are as impressive as any two-week stretch this franchise has had in the last 17 years.
Here’s the thing now, is it all fool’s gold? I mean, is this team we all thought would be in for a rough season really capable of continuing to pile up wins and stay in the AFC East race right until the end? They can’t count on multiple turnovers every week. Teams will begin to adjust to what the Bills are doing on defense and find ways to exploit them. Atlanta was able to pop open some big runs on the Bills’ front 7 on Sunday. It could be an issue going forward.
At some point, the offense will have to win them a game, and they just don’t have enough there right now.
We’ve seen this before. 2011 is the best comparison I have. Remember when the Bills started 3-0 and beat New England in that classic game at the Ralph? We thought they were for real then, too. Then they went to Cincinnati to face a one-win Bengals team with a struggling Andy Dalton. Sound familiar? The Bills lost a game they led 17-3, getting outscored 20-3 in the second half.
Now the Bills don’t have to lose on Sunday because of what happened in 2011, but I’m uneasy. It’s a classic letdown game. This is a team that we all assumed the Bills would beat after an 0-3 start, but the Bengals might be getting their shit together now as they took the Packers to overtime in Green Bay and walloped the Browns in Cleveland last week. Dalton threw for 4 touchdowns on Sunday and they still have AJ Green to worry about. They are a little banged up on both sides of the ball. It’s possible the Bengals won’t have any healthy tight ends on Sunday.
Still, Vegas has Cincinnati as a 2.5 point favorite, so they know something is up. I’d be on guard for a letdown here, Bills fans. Of course, I always expect the worst from this franchise, as we all should.
Prediction: Bengals 20, Bills 17
Mike McKenzie (@mack10zie) 2-2.
So now that everyone has missed the last two weeks, we think the Bills are a good team? This game is a huge test, because previous iterations of the Bills would most definitely lose this game. The Bills are the better team, but for a good team, they have about as small a margin for error as possible. I think the Bengals are not a very good offensive football team. AJ Green is a match-up nightmare, but Buffalo has defended the pass exceptionally well this season. The Bengals do have 3 RBs, but don;t seem exactly sure who should be the guy. The way Cincinnati wins this game is Mixon or Bernard get going and they run all over Buffalo. This is a very big game. Win this, and I’m ready to start discussing the P word. Lose and it’s more of the same and the race to QB Mountain. Bills 20 Bengals 17
(Evan, @evancdent, 2-2) Bills 17 – Bengals 13
You can call me Mulder, because I Want to Believe. With the drought-era Bills, the other shoe has dropped so many times before after promising starts, and I’m stuck debating whether it’ll happen sooner or later this year. As much as I think this matchup is ripe for a disappointing Bills performance – on the road, Bengals have a good defense, AJ Green will probably play the whole game unlike Julio last week – I think the Bills should be able to take this one. The Bengals’ offensive line is awful, and the Bills should be able to control the trenches and force a couple turnovers from Andy Dalton. On the other side of the ball, the lack of weapons for the Bills is worrying, but I can see them doing just enough to take the win and head into the bye week at 4-1, a perfect set up for a late season collapse.
Ricardo Canepa (@rcanepac)
Bills 21 – Bengals 20
After being wrong the past 2 weeks (like all of us!) I’m going with the bills. Make no mistake. I really think the bills got LUCKY against the Falcons: Julio Jones and Sanu out plus that fumble returned to TD?! Thank you lord! I think that if the bills played the Falcons 10 times, we’d win 1. We got it.
It was really nice to be on that end. It reminded me of the game against Green Bay two years ago. Everything went our way there. Likewise, I remember how I felt against Jacksonville in London in that shitty Robey – Coleman PI call and how I felt robbed. The previous game was amazing and it led to an unthinkable 3-1 start. I’ll take it.
But all of the above doesn’t take anything away from our Defense. It is legit. Therefore, for my prediction, I’m counting on one score by our D. I’m not confident on our offense with a less than ideal receiving core and an o-line that doesn’t shine in protecting Taylor.
Defense will bail us out again and I’m counting also in Dennison having a good plan too. After all, it’s all part of the process!!