Bengals vs. Bills 2013 picks: Lack of trust in Thad Lewis makes Bengals heavy favorites

Rick Stewart

Buffalo has stayed competitive in every game this year, but the switch to a mostly unknown backup quarterback won't help matters on Sunday.

The Bills are one of the biggest surprises of the season with first-year head coach Doug Marrone helping lead Buffalo to a 2-3 record while staying competitive in every game. That's despite most people picking the team to be one of the worst in the NFL. They may not be that bad, but an injury to rookie quarterback E.J. Manuel has put their success in danger as they scramble to find a replacement.

The 3-2 Bengals coming to town after a big win over the Patriots won't make things any easier.

Cincinnati is trying to make the playoffs for the third straight year, something it's never done in franchise history. The Bengals' only issue so far is an 0-2 record on the road, something they will look to rectify in Buffalo this week when they try to improve to 4-2 and stay in at least a tie for the AFC North lead. What kind of a test do the Bills provide?

Buffalo has recorded wins over the Ravens and Panthers, and dropped close games against the Patriots and Jets. In Week 5 against the Browns, Manuel helped lead the Bills on a drive that would ultimately give them a lead in the fourth quarter, but an LCL sprain forced him out and Jeff Tuel in as a replacement. The Bills lost the lead against Cleveland, and even worse, they will be without Manuel for four to six weeks. Rather than go with Tuel over that time, Marrone has pegged Thad Lewis as the starter, a player with one career start.

Does any expert think Buffalo can win this one, even at home? Yes, one does.

Four of five writers at SB Nation picked the Bengals to win, but Joel Thorman thinks the Bills will pull this one out at home. Picks are more consistent over at CBSSports, where all eight experts are going with Cincinnati. Every one of them, except for Dave Richard, thinks the Bengals will cover the 7.5-point spread.

All three experts at Yahoo! Sports are going with Cincinnati, as well.

More from SB Nation NFL

The Notebook: Blame Brady, Jeffery's jump, Jacksonville joke

Houston fans harass Matt Schaub at his home | Fumblr: Rock bottom

PFT Commenter: Week 5's road graders & lunch pail heroes

Julio Jones could be done for the year

NFL Power Rankings: Chiefs and Colts climbing

Bois: The Quarterback Internet Hate Index

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.