NFL Week 5: Bucs @ Bengals

Tampa Bay Bucs @ Cincinnati Bengals Sun. Oct. 10th 1pm EST

The defending AFC North division champion Cincinnati Bengals came into this NFL regular season with their sights set on repeating as division champs and possibly contending for a Super Bowl title, but after the first four weeks of the season, Carson Palmer and company have begun to realize that the competition within the division is much tougher than last season.

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Fortunately, the Cincinnati Bengals were able to get the best of the Baltimore Ravens in the Week 2, but were upset by the lowly Cleveland Browns last week and given somewhat of a wakeup call as the offense and the defense has some work to do if they expect to get back into the playoffs this season.

In Week 5, the Bengals will be defending their home field against the up and coming Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Even though the Bucs were able to get off to a quick start this season with wins over the Cleveland Browns (17-14) and the Carolina Panthers (20-7) in consecutive weeks, they were put back in their place in Week 3 before their bye against the AFC North division leading Pittsburgh Steelers (38-13).

With the Pittsburgh Steelers dominating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 3, Josh Freeman and company will have had to prepare to up against another dominant defense in the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 5.

There is no doubt that the Bucs have started to turn the corner this season with some solid quarterback play and a new found confidence, but I believe they will be headed for the second straight loss of the season against the Bengals.

Obviously, the Bengals have the edge on the offensive side of the football with two of the best wide receivers in the game in Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens, but they have also done damage to opposing defenses in the running game with up and coming running back Cedric Benson. With all these things coming together on offense, the Bengals play on defense has gone unnoticed, but it will be the secondary of Cincinnati that puts them over the top against the Bucs in Week 5 as they will be putting constant pressure on Josh Freeman much like the Pittsburgh Steelers did in Week 3.

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As of right now, the Cincinnati Bengals are the -6.5 point favorites, but even though the Tampa Bay Bucs are capable of upsetting the Bengals, I believe this spread is right on the money as Cincinnati will be looking to make a statement in Week 5 to show that Week 4’s loss to the Cleveland Browns was nothing more than a fluke.

The Cincinnati Bengals should come up big in this one with a couple interceptions and a constant pressure on the quarterback, but I believe the offense will also have a big day as Carson Palmer and company will be looking to put a big number on the scoreboard this Sunday.

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