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Week 12 Predictions: All Bengals Staff Gives Picks for Sunday's Game Against Steelers

Cincinnati is hoping to sweep Pittsburgh for the first time since 2009.

CINCINNATI — Will the Bengals beat the Steelers on Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium? 

Cincinnati hasn't beat Pittsburgh in three-straight games since 1990. They haven't swept the Steelers since 2009. That could change this week. 

The All Bengals team made our predictions for Sunday's matchup. Check them out below!

Elise Jesse, All Bengals Insider

Season Record: 3-7

Week 12 is a big one for the AFC North with all four teams above .500 and all four teams matched up against one another. It’s a great chance for Cincinnati to gain some ground in the divisional standings as we continue through the second half of the season.

This game should look much different than it did in Week 3 with T.J. Watt on the field. 

Watt applies pressure, wins one-on-ones, and splits double teams better than almost everybody in the league, and he will absolutely change the game on Sunday.

Am I willing to base my entire prediction around one player? No. The Steelers also have some significant injuries to their offense which includes their top returner Ray-Ray McCloud on the COVID-19 list. Tight end Eric Ebron (knee) and backup left guard J.C. Hassenauer (pectoral) have both been ruled out.

With Cincinnati’s defense playing really well against the run (5th in the league in rushing yards allowed), and Watt coming to town, I don’t expect either team to move the ball much on offense. For this week’s prediction I’m going to take health into account, and the Bengals have nearly every player outside of Auden Tate healthy, so I’m picking the home team.

Prediction: Bengals 17, Steelers 13

Related: Bengals vs Steelers—Keys to Victory

Russ Heltman, All Bengals Contributor

Season Record: 4-6

The oddsmakers are giving the Bengals plenty of respect as they look for their first season sweep of Pittsburgh since 2009. Cincinnati enters the game as 4.5-point favorites after hammering Las Vegas last Sunday.

These aren't the same Steelers the Bengals faced in Week 3; that will be the difference in this game. Watt, Joe Haden, and Minkah Fitzpatrick are all expected back for what has been an average defense (16th EPA/play allowed).

The two teams rank neck-and-neck in Football Outsiders DVOA (the Bengals are 21st and the Steelers 22nd) and ESPN's Football Power Index (the Bengals are 20th and the Steelers 21st). Those metrics include the disastrous Mason Rudolph start against Detroit.

Pittsburgh is a much better team right now, going into December. I expect this to be very close (Steelers are 4-1 against the spread as underdogs this year), and the added defensive pieces will be the difference on Sunday.

Prediction: Steelers 21, Bengals 20

Nicole Zembrodt, All Bengals Contributor

Season Record: 5-5

Cincinnati has won two straight against the Steelers and they are looking to sweep them for the first time since 2009.

The Bengals didn't allow a sack in their Week 3 contest as the offensive line won the battle of the trenches. That could change Sunday with Watt back on the field. 

The star edge rusher has been limited in practice this week with a hip/knee injury, but he's expected to play Sunday. Watt has 12.5 sacks and 29 tackles in eight games this season. 

Joe Mixon is the Bengals' X-factor in this game. The offense could not produce consistent momentum in the first half against the Raiders and their pass rush. Zac Taylor committed to pounding the rock coming out of halftime which led to scores on all five second-half drives (outscoring Las Vegas 22-7). Pittsburgh's run defense has given up an average of 126 yards per game and allowed 229 yards against the Lions and 159 yards to the Chargers in recent weeks. Establishing the run takes pressure off Joe Burrow and the pass game.

On the defensive side of the ball, Cincinnati will need to contain Najee Harris and Diontae Johnson. Harris received 20 or more attempts in five consecutive games prior to Week 11. The rookie's role in the offense has grown every week. Like Watt, Johnson did not play in Week 3. The receiver is a deep threat that can make an explosive play at any moment of the game.

Sunday's game will be closer than their first meeting, but the Bengals get the season sweep of their divisional rival.

Prediction: Bengals 27, Steelers 23

Blake Jewell, All Bengals Contributor

Season Record: 5-5

Coming off a huge AFC road win last week, I think the Bengals put together another good performance at home against the Steelers. They beat them in Pittsburgh earlier this season, and I think they implement a similar game plan this time and get behind the home crowd to get the big divisional win.

Prediction: Bengals 27, Steelers 17

Mike Santagata, All Bengals Film Analyst

Season Record: 4-6

It's tough to sweep a division rival. They will typically adjust to what was done in the first game and require you to make adjustments to the adjustments. 

One thing that plays into the Bengals favor is that this game is at home. In theory they have already won the more difficult game, but Watt will be back for this one. I think the Bengals are the better team, but this should be close.

Prediction: Bengals 24, Steelers 20

Lindsay Patterson, All Bengals Reporter

Season Record: 1-1

Revenge game? The Bengals will face a different defense with Watt on the field this Sunday. The pressure is on the offensive line and Burrow. Ja'Marr Chase has been quiet in the last few games. I think he'll bounce back to post big numbers and catch at least one deep ball on Sunday. 

A balanced offense is fun to watch and that continues on Sunday with Mixon too. I haven't been impressed with the Steelers' offense most of the season and I'm still optimistic about the Bengals defense and saw a difference last week in the missed tackles department. The Bengals are looking for 3 straight wins against the Steelers and a season sweep as they return home sweet home—can they do it? It won't be easy, but I'll take them in a close one.

 Prediction: Bengals 27, Steelers 24

James Rapien, All Bengals Publisher

Read More

Season Record: 4-6

Watt's back, but Johnson's impact on Roethlisberger and the offense might be just as important. 

Can the two Joe's outperform their counterparts? The Bengals need to get the ground game going. If Mixon has a big day, it'll take pressure off of the defense and the Bengals' pass protection. 

The Bengals have shown they can win ugly and Burrow will make a few more plays than Roethlisberger.  

Prediction: Bengals 24, Steelers 22

For more on Sunday's game, watch the video below. 

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