The Denver Broncos and Cincinnati Bengals are two teams that took different paths to their 7-6 records. Denver started off hot, then lost four straight, and have been on a win one and lose one track since. The Bengals, on the other hand, also started off hot and were 5-2 at one point. Since then, however, they have won just two of their last six games.
The question now is, which team comes out playing good football? Both teams have shown they can dominate teams and then come out and lay a giant egg. For us here at Mile High Report, we’re collectively calling it a Broncos win here by the score of 24-20. Individually, we are all over the map on the score, but only one of us predicted a Broncos loss.
Broncos 23, Bengals 17
Playoffs? Don’t talk to me about playoffs! At least not until the Denver Broncos find a way to beat the Cincinnati Bengals at home this weekend. It’s been a long 5+ years since we’ve had meaningful playoff talks in this town, so I am all for predicting a win here and hoping that is exactly what we get for Christmas in 2021! - Tim Lynch
Broncos 21, Bengals 20
The Broncos get off to a slow start because Cincy is the best run defense they’ve faced in months, which leaves Teddy Bridgewater trying to bail them out in too many third and long situations. He struggles to do so against Lou Anarumo’s aggressive pressure scheme, and they hit halftime down by a touchdown. Fortunately, the defense capitalizes on Burrow’s aggressiveness in the second half and creates a short field to pull ahead. Broncos win by the skin of their teeth. - Joe Rowles
Broncos 27. Bengals 17
In 3 games since their Bye, Vic Fangio’s defense has held opposing offenses to 13, 16, and 10 points. That’s impressive considering two of those teams, the Chiefs and Chargers, are among the hottest teams in the league right now. Fangio’s defense has more turnovers secured (5) than touchdowns allowed (4) since their Bye. They’ve also only allowed 5 of 13 opponents to score 20+, and only let 1 of those 5 opponents hit 30+ offensive points. The Bengals are good, but unless something goes drastically wrong for Denver I don’t see Cincy exploding on offense. The game will really come down to whether or not Shurmur has faith in this team’s excellent rushing game. Trust what works and don’t try to get cute, and the Broncos win this game. But if Shurmur lets the Bengals’ sturdy run D scare him into a pass-heavy game plan, you can probably flip my predicted score. - Taylor Kothe
Bengals 23, Broncos 17
This is the sort of game the Broncos have routinely lost since Peyton Manning rode off into the sunset carrying the Lombardi. The Broncos do have big upset wins against the Cowboys and Chargers, but Vic Fangio’s squad has routinely come up short in these “must win” games (Go rewatch that Chiefs debacle). I unfortunately, don’t see that changing this week. Bengals roll and we’re talking about a potential coaching change instead of the playoffs. Again. - Scotty Payne
Broncos 24, Bengals 21
There won’t be a repeat of the offensive output the Broncos put up against the Lions, but that doesn’t mean they can’t win. It will be mostly a defensive battle, but both teams will find the end zone a few times. In the end, the running attack of the Broncos should prevail. Brandon McManus kicks a game winner as time expires. 24-21 Denver. - Adam Malnati
Broncos 31, Bengals 24
This is the biggest Broncos home game since the AFC championship against Tom Brady and the Patriots on the path to Super Bowl 50. And Broncos Country will respond in a major way. I also think Denver will continue to get inspired and motivated by DT’s death. The playoffs start this Sunday and the Broncos get the big win. - Ian St. Clair