Buffalo currently boasts the No. 1 seed in the AFC and is looking to earn that important first-round bye after winning the AFC East. Meanwhile, Cincinnati finds itself in first place in the AFC North and can clinch the division with a win. It also has an outside shot of earning that top spot in the conference.
The backdrop here includes two teams that are on absolute rolls. The defending AFC champions, Cincinnati has won seven consecutive games. As for the Bills, they are in the midst of a six-game streak. Below, we provide you with three bold predictions for this titanic matchup on Monday Night Football.
Both Joe Burrow and Josh Allen account for four touchdowns
We’re talking about two of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, both of whom are finishing up shop on amazing statistical seasons. During Cincinnati’s current seven-game winning streak, Burrow has tallied 19 total touchdowns against six interceptions. He’s accounted for at least three total touchdowns in four of those games.
Despite struggling to an extent with interceptions (nine in the past nine games), Allen continues to put up some eye-opening numbers, too. He tallied four touchdown passes in a Week 15 win over the Miami Dolphins before scoring three total touchdowns on Christmas Eve. Thus far this season, Allen has totaled three or more touchdowns six times.
Typically, this wouldn’t be a bold prediction. That’s until we realize Buffalo has yielded the second-fewest points in the NFL behind only the San Francisco 49ers. Quarterbacks have thrown 18 touchdowns against 14 interceptions during this span. As for the Bengals’ defense, this unit ranks in the top 10 in points allowed and has yielded a mere 17 touchdowns through the air.
Tee Higgins outperforms Ja’Marr Chase for the Cincinnati Bengals
As we saw Sunday between the Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings, true shutdown cornerbacks have an ability to limit the production of elite-level wide receivers. In short, Jaire Alexander absolutely dominated Justin Jefferson.
While we’d stop short of saying that Tre’Davious White will completely shut down Ja’Marr Chase in this one, we do like Higgins going up against Dane Jackson more. After missing the first 11 games of the season due to injury, White has returned to form. He’s yielding a mere 53.6% completion when targeted in five games.
As for Higgins, he’s coming off a brilliant eight-catch performance in a win over the New England Patriots last week. Higgins caught all but one of his nine targets for 128 yards. With White likely shadowing Chase in this one, look for Burrow to target Higgins a whole heck of a lot.
Buffalo Bills hand Cincinnati Bengals a rare home loss
Since opening the season with a home loss to the Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati has won five consecutive games inside the friendly confines of Paycor Stadium. That included a huge Week 13 win over the Kansas City Chiefs. This span has also seen Cincinnati outscore its opponents by a combined 67 points.
With all of that said, Buffalo continues to prove that it can win in pretty much every condition Mother Nature has to offer. It has come out on top in blizzard-like conditions. It has also pulled off wins in balmy weather. In the midst of a three-game winning streak away from Western New York, Buffalo has outscored its opponents by a combined 39 points during that span. We’re expecting a huge road performance on Monday Night Football.