Final score predictions for Bengals vs. Steelers in Week 12

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The Cincinnati Bengals have a chance to sweep the Pittsburgh Steelers, advance AFC playoff ambitions and put together a two-game winning streak on Sunday.

So there’s quite a bit at stake for the 6-4 rebuilder looking to turn the corner.

Luckily for the Bengals, the thought of the Ben Roethlisberger-led Steelers visiting Paul Brown Stadium isn’t all that intimidating anymore.

Some of that’s because of these Bengals. They went to Las Vegas in an unorthodox 4 p.m. ET timeslot and got a 32-13 win, at the same time overcoming a terrible post-bye track record. And some of it’s the fact they went to Pittsburgh in Week 3 and go ta 24-10 win over these same Steelers.

There, Joe Burrow threw for three scores and Joe Mixon ran for 90 yards, averaging five yards per carry. Pittsburgh didn’t have anyone who could cover Ja’Marr Chase, who turned four catches into 65 yards and two scores. Cincinnati’s defense picked off Big Ben twice and sacked him four times while limiting Najee Harris to 2.9 yards per carry.

These teams haven’t changed all that much. Pittsburgh eventually won four in a row to even out, but only one of those wins came against a team above .500. Over their last two, they’ve tied 0-10-1 Detroit and lost to the Los Angeles Chargers. Big Ben has thrown nine touchdowns and no picks over his last five outings, but he’s not playing high-level ball, nor is he surrounded by the usual cast of elite talent.

Two notable things have changed for the Steelers since Week 3. One, star pass-rusher T.J. Watt will be on the field for the rematch. And two, the defense will assuredly adjust the scheme to account for Chase.

But realistically, the Cincinnati line did a good job on the Raiders’ Maxx Crosby last week. Pittsburgh won’t have corner Joe Haden on the field, so adjustments for Chase might just mean someone like Tyler Boyd pops off all day. And the Steelers defense has let up 1,000-plus rushing yards over their last seven — Joe Mixon just ran for 123 yards and two scores against the Raiders.

Unless there’s an incredibly bone-headed coaching approach to this game, the Bengals have a better cast of offensive weapons, defense and — most important of all — quarterback. There’s no reason to think Trey Hendrickson can’t make Big Ben’s life on the road miserable while the offense cruises similarly to how it did in Week 3, with a heavy emphasis on a Mixon-based attack.

If so, it marks only the fourth sweep of the Steelers since 1990 and the only time over that span Cincinnati has won three in a row over their heated rival.

Prediction: Bengals 27, Steelers 20

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Steelers vs. Bengals preview: 7 things to know about Week 12