Monday Night Football Preview: Buffalo Bills at Cincinnati Bengals

The Cincinnati Bengals host the Buffalo Bills tonight in a pivotal AFC clash that could ultimately decide the fate of the conference. At 12-3, the Bills desperately need a win to hold onto the top seed, which would earn them a crucial bye and home-field advantage. At 11-4, the Bengals could claim the AFC North crown with a victory and give themselves an outside shot at the top seed. Perhaps no game in Monday Night Football history has sported higher stakes for better teams.

The Bills are 2.5-point favorites to take tonight's game, and for good reason: they're the most balanced team in the AFC. They rank fourth in the league in points scored, and second in the league in yards gained as well as points allowed. They pass well, they run well, they defend well. But they have one glaring weakness: they rank 31st in the league in giveaways. Quarterback Josh Allen is the primary culprit: he has thrown 13 interceptions and fumbled 13 times. The Bills have overcome their errors by bludgeoning teams with depth and talent on both sides of the ball, but they won't survive a mistake-heavy game against a team as good as the Bengals.

The Bengals may not be as deep as the Bills, but it's a passing league, and they're among the best in that department. They rank fourth in passing yards this season, and quarterback Joe Burrow has shown he has what it takes to be considered among the NFL's elite. Over the Bengals' ongoing seven-game win streak, he has passed for an impressive 275.9 yards per game with 19 total touchdowns and only six turnovers. He has also come through in the clutch; he bested the Kansas City Chiefs, the AFC's other powerhouse, 27-24 in Week 13.

The Bengals and Bills kick off tonight at 8:30 pm ET. 

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