NFL Week 17 Picks: San Francisco Looking To Play Spoiler

Colin Kaepernick

Cincinnati Bengals (+3.5)* at Pittsburgh Steelers

That’s it, right? We — collectively, as football fans, analysts, and onlookers — asked the Cincinnati Bengals to prove their worth by beating the Broncos on Monday Night Football. They did. Are we satisfied?

Of course not. The game was obviously a fluke. At least, that’s the general perception.

It’s easy to remember the back-to-back 40-point outbursts by the Steelers against Indianapolis and Baltimore. It’s even easier to remember how Pittsburgh pulled away from Cincinnati in the fourth quarter of their Week 14 matchup. But why are those memories driving the boat for a rematch? Especially one where the underdog — and loser of the first meeting — is trying to overcome a recent history of postseason struggles. A home playoff game — or potentially a first-round bye — is much more preferable than traveling for a Wild Card game.

Cincinnati was a fourth-quarter implosion against the Steelers away from a six-game winning streak entering Week 17. By all accounts, this has been the Bengals’ division to lose for a large majority of the season, and they have somehow held on throughout one of the most competitive division races of late.

Neither team pulls away all night, and the Bengals outlast the Steelers, winning by a late field goal, beating the spread, and clinching the AFC North.

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Mario Mergola
Mario Mergola is a writer, avid sports fan, former ESPN Radio producer, husband, and father who specializes in finding the hidden gems of the less-explored option. Follow @MarioMergola

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