The Cincinnati Bengals Week 13 matchup vs. the Kansas City Chiefs should be one of the games of the 2022 NFL season. Ahead of this crucial and (hopefully) highly entertaining Bengals-Chiefs game, let’s make some bold Bengals Week 13 predictions.

The Bengals come into this game as one of the hottest teams in the NFL, winning five of their last six contests. And even more impressively, they’ve done it without superstar wider receiver Ja’Marr Chase for the last five games and running back Joe Mixon for the last game and a half.

As far as form goes, though, the Chiefs are just as hot, with five consecutive Ws. The only losing streak the Chiefs are on is a two-game slide vs. the Bengals, as Joe Burrow is undefeated in his two meetings with Patrick Mahomes.

If Joe Burrow and the Bengals can once again beat the Chiefs, they will pull within one game of Kansas City for the coveted first-round bye in the AFC playoffs. Those are the stakes of this Bengals-Chiefs game, so let’s move forward with our bold Bengals Week 13 predictions.

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4. The Bengals defense makes plays, and finally gets credit

The Bengals defense might be the most unheralded unit in the NFL. The side’s biggest stars — Germaine Pratt, Logan Wilson, Von Bell, Trey Hendrickson, Sam Hubbard — aren’t exactly household names outside of Ohio.

However, they are the 12th-ranked passing defense, 11th in rushing and scoring, and 10th in yards allowed. And they’ve accomplished all this with solid play, not splash ones. The team is 19th in turnovers (13) and 28th in sacks (17).

A lot of this comes down to the excellent game-planning and even better halftime adjustments from defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo. In the Bengals-Chiefs game, look for these second-half adjustments to stymie the Chiefs offense down the stretch and put the Bengals in a position to get the win.

3. Ja’Marr Chase and Joe Burrow return

All-Pro WR Ja’Marr Chase hasn’t played since suffering a hip injury in Week 7, and RB Joe Mixon is still in concussion protocol after his head injury in Week 11.

As of Thursday, both players were limited in practice this week, and there is no indication — one way or another — whether they will play on Sunday. That said, the bold Bengals Week 13 prediction is that both players return for the Bengals-Chiefs game.

While both players will be a boon for Burrow and the Bengals O, Chase is the major X factor. As good as the Bengals have been since he’s been out, the former LSU wideout is a true game-changer who can score at any time, and from any place on the field.

If Chase does come back this week, look for his QB to look for him early and often and for the WR to have a big game.

2. Joe Burrow puts his name in the best QB conversation

In the last two years, the general consensus has been that Patrick Mahomes, or maybe Mahomes and Josh Allen, are in a tier by themselves when it comes to the best QB in the NFL conversation.

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However, Burrow is third in passing yards this season (23 yards behind Allen and 425 yards behind Mahomes), and he is the one who led his team to the Super Bowl last season. And while Burrow hasn’t gone head-to-head with Allen yet, he defeated Mahomes twice last season, including in the 2021 AFC Championship Game.

In the Bengals Week 13 game, the most important thing for Burrow and the team is getting a win. For Bengals fans and the media, though, putting a 3-0 vs. Mahomes Burrow into the best QB conversation will be a fun offshoot. And at just 25 years old (until December 10, Happy 26th Birthday!), Burrow will be in that conversation for years to come.

1. Bengals 30, Chiefs28

Unless you live in Ohio or Missouri, chances are you’re just rooting for a shootout on Sunday, and that’s what the bold Bengals Week 13 prediction is. This game will be a back-and-forth affair, with both teams marching up and down the field with their incredible offenses.

In the fourth quarter, powered by the patented Lou Anarumo adjustments, the Bengals defense will make a play to give Burrow a chance to win the game, and the third-year signal-caller will deliver for his team.

This is a must-watch game for any fans of NFL offense, of course, but it will also have far-reaching implications in the AFC playoff picture this season, so make sure you are by a TV at 4:25 ET this Sunday to see this marquee matchup.