NFL Week 16 picks: Expert predictions for Patriots vs. Bengals game


The New England Patriots' 2022 season likely will come down to whether they can beat the red-hot Cincinnati Bengals in Saturday's Week 16 game at Gillette Stadium. 

The Bengals are the defending AFC champions and playing their best football of the season at the perfect time. Cincinnati has won six consecutive games, including an impressive comeback win over Tom Brady's Tampa Bay Buccaneers last week despite trailing 17-3 to start the game. The Bengals are 10-4 and trail the No. 1 seed Buffalo Bills by just one game.

Joe Burrow is arguably the best quarterback the Patriots defense will play all season. He has thrown 14 touchdowns with just four interceptions during the Bengals' win streak. Ja'Marr Chase is arguably the best wide receiver in the NFL. He'll be a very difficult matchup for a banged up Patriots secondary. 

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The Patriots offense also is unlikely to keep up with a Bengals offense that ranks fifth in points scored per game (26.4). New England has scored only four offensive touchdowns in the last three games. The Patriots rank 29th in third down conversion percentage and also rank among the worst red-zone teams in the league. 

Unless the Patriots force a few turnovers and get a couple surprise performances on offense, it's hard to imagine how they come out of this matchup with a victory.

Which way are experts leaning in this Patriots-Bengals matchup? Here's a roundup of Week 16 picks.

Tom E. Curran, NBC Sports Boston: 31-16 Bengals

Mike Florio, ProFootballTalk: 30-23 Bengals

Albert Breer, Sports Illustrated: Bengals

Bill Bender, Sporting News: 28-24 Bengals

Gregg Rosenthal, 24-17 Bengals

Pete Prisco, CBS Sports: 30-17 Bengals

Bleacher Report NFL Staff: 21-16 Bengals

Mike Clay, ESPN: Bengals

Dan Graziano, ESPN: Bengals

David Hill, New York Times: Patriots +3.5

Sheil Kapadia, The Ringer: Bengals -3

FiveThirtyEight's model: Bengals have a 63 percent chance to win

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