NFL Game Previews: Breaking Down Week 17
NFL Game Previews: Breaking Down Week 17

This article is part of our NFL Game Previews series.

Baltimore (+2.5) at Cincinnati, 41.5 o/u – Sunday, 1:00 pm EST

Comments: The Ravens came within the length of Antonio Brown's outstretched arm last week of potentially winning their division, but instead they'll be watching the hated Steelers carry the NFC North banner into the postseason. That leaves them with very little to play for this week, even in terms of individual milestones, and while you know Steve Smith will want to go out with a bang (if this is indeed his final game) the real drama for Baltimore will come in their backfield. Kenneth Dixon and Terrance West have been taking turns having the more productive game, but Dixon certainly looked like the team's future lead RB last week, making defenders miss and refusing to go down on first contact. The Bengals have been soft against the run all year – they're 22nd in rushing yards allowed per game and in YPC allowed – so whichever back gets the carries should be productive Sunday. ... Cinci's been playing out the string for a while now, and their only win against a team above .500 came against the Dolphins back in Week 4 (and, technically, Miami was 1-2 at the time). When these two teams met in Week 12, the Bengals essentially got beat by Justin Tucker as neither offense could get much going, but those might seem like the salad days to Andy Dalton. Tyler Eifert, who scored the team's only TD in that game,

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Erik Siegrist
Erik Siegrist is an FSWA award-winning columnist who covers all four major North American sports (that means the NHL, not NASCAR) and whose beat extends back to the days when the Nationals were the Expos and the Thunder were the Sonics. He was the inaugural champion of Rotowire's Staff Keeper baseball league. His work has also appeared at Baseball Prospectus.
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