The Denver Broncos have been free-falling ever since their bye week and look to put on the brakes when they host the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday. Denver started the season strong, winning three of its first four games, but finds itself in the AFC West basement thanks to a five-game slide that has followed its Week 5 bye.
The Broncos will need a better performance on Sunday from their defense, which has been shredded for a total of 92 points in losses to Philadelphia and New England the last two weeks. Cincinnati is coming off a 24-20 setback at Tennessee, which was its second straight overall loss and third in a row on the road. The Bengals continue to have problems running the ball, gaining only 53 yards on the ground against the Titans to lower their league-worst rushing average to 70.1. Rookie Joe Mixon leads Cincinnati with just 321 rushing yards but has run for a touchdown in back-to-back contests.
TV: 4:25 p.m. ET, CBS. LINE: Broncos -2.5. O/U: 39
ABOUT THE BENGALS (3-6): Injuries notwithstanding, Cincinnati hopes to keep all its key players in the game Sunday after having one ejected each of the last two weeks. Top receiver A.J. Green was tossed in the team’s Week 9 defeat at Jacksonville for participating in a fight while linebacker Vontaze Burfict got kicked out of the loss to the Titans for making contact with an official. Green’s next game with at least 100 receiving yards will be the 32nd of his career, which will break a tie with Chad Johnson for the most in franchise history.
ABOUT THE BRONCOS (3-6): Denver has had difficulty scoring since posting a 42-17 victory over Dallas in Week 2, eclipsing the 20-point mark just once in its last seven contests. Quarterback Brock Osweiler was a full participant in Thursday’s practice after being limited a day earlier due to a sore right shoulder. Emmanuel Sanders, who recorded 137 receiving yards last week, has made five touchdown catches in his last three meetings with the Bengals.
1. All three of the Broncos’ victories this season have come at home.
2. Cincinnati CB Adam Jones (concussion) and NT Pat Sims (calf) have not practiced and likely will miss Sunday’s game.
3. Denver has won the last two meetings and is 21-9 in the all-time series.
PREDICTION: Broncos 31, Bengals 13