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TE Alex Smith - Cincinnati Bengals

6-5, 255Born: 5-22-1982College: StanfordDrafted: Round 3

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Week 16: vs Denver Broncos

Mark and Joe say: Neutral matchup. Andy Dalton has run hot-and-cold as a passer this year - last week, the Bengals ran the football 45 times for 244 yards and three rushing scores at Cleveland, so Dalton had a 'cold' game, with 14/24 for 117 yards rushing, zero TDs and one interception thrown (taking two sacks for -14 yards). A.J. Green saw the most targets, as usual, with 11, but only managed 5/49/0 receiving in those chances, while nobody else on the team got over 40 yards receiving. Jermaine Gresham's injured toe kept him sidelined last week and he's seeing a toe specialist this week - he looks iffy to play in this key AFC contest. Denver's run D is so good that most teams elect to attack the Broncos through the air (also, the opposition is usually in chase mode due to playing against Peyton Manning's offense) - to date, Denver ranks 16th in the NFL averaging 237.8 net passing yards allowed per game, with 26 passing scores allowed vs. 16 interceptions (eighth in the NFL) and 38 sacks (tied for sixth) generated. Philip Rivers wasn't sacked last week (24/41 for 232 yards passing, with one TD thrown) but he was intercepted twice. Two weeks ago, Kyle Orton took four sacks for -14 yards, ending the day with 38/57 for 341 net yards, one TD and two interceptions thrown. As you can see, the Bronco's ball-hawks have been active and productive in the secondary over the last two games. Dalton and company face a dangerous matchup this week - we've seen four multiple-interceptions-thrown games from him this year, and Denver is noted for going for turnovers - at home in Paul Brown stadium we give this a neutral ranking for Dalton and company.

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Schedule

16vs Denver Broncos
17@ Pittsburgh Steelers