Week 15 Prediction: Cincinnati Bengals (7-6) at Broncos (7-6), Empower Field at Mile High, 2:05 p.m. Sunday

Offense

OK, something must give. Few weeks ago, the Broncos gave $90 million-plus to Tim Patrick and Courtland Sutton. Since then they’ve combined for 10 catches in three games. Guess $90 million doesn’t get what it used to. The Bengals can’t stop the pass, and Sunday is when Denver should let it rip.

Advantage: Bengals

Defense

If it gets to the point where Vic Fangio must lobby George Paton to keep his gig, a proper opening statement should start here: Hey, boss. Remember that time you traded Von Miller? Yeah, so in the five games since then we allowed only 18 points per game. You mind if I stick around for another year?

Advantage: Broncos

Special teams

God as my witness, I had never heard of the Bengals’ place-kicker. That’s what a season without fantasy football will do to you. His name is Evan McPherson, and get this: he was a fifth-round draft pick this year! Evan’s 21 of 25 on field goals. As a rookie does he swap jerseys with Super Bowl 50 hero Brandon McManus?

Advantage: Broncos

Coaching

It’s important Denver builds an early lead. How important? Extremely. Vic Fangio’s Broncos are 6-0 when leading at the half. They’re 0-6 when trailing at the half. Quarterback John Elway’s Broncos, these are not. But Fangio’s ‘D’ holds up when the offense eclipses 20 points. Those Broncos are 6-1.

Advantage: Bengals

Intangibles

Yes, I’m picking the Bengals. No, I don’t feel confident. How do you handicap a Broncos team that whoops the Cowboys on the road and gets crushed by the Eagles at home? All the momentum is on Denver’s side, but the Broncos haven't proven to be trustworthy. Who dey!

Advantage: Bengals

Klee’s prediction: Bengals (plus-2.5) 20, Broncos 17 (Straight-up record: 5-7; ATS: 4-8)

(Contact Gazette sports columnist Paul Klee at paul.klee@gazette.com or on Twitter at @bypaulklee.)

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