A roundup of ESPN pundits’ predictions for Sunday’s Patriots-Bengals season opener:
* Mike Reiss: Patriots 31, Bengals 28. Both teams' offenses look ready to go. The Patriots have won six straight season openers and being at home gives them a slight edge in what should be a game that comes down to the critical situations in the fourth quarter.
* Bill Simmons: Bengals (+4.5) over PATRIOTS. Weirdest fact about the 2010 Bengals: Is it … (A) their first- and second-string quarterbacks are brothers; (B) their first- and second-string receivers spent the summer as the Sunday night reality block for VH1; (C) one of their starting linebackers hosted a show on Travel Channel; (D) they start two Polynesians (Fui Vakapuna and Rey Maualuga); or (E) they have Tank Johnson and Pacman Jones?
I vote for B and here's why: I can't believe Terrell Owens has a reality show. You know how the Dos Equis guy is the Most Interesting Man in the World? T.O. might the Least Interesting Man in the World. I'm still waiting for his first compelling moment.
* Tedy Bruschi: He doesn't like the Patriots' defensive matchups against the Bengals in Sunday's season-opener. Bruschi thinks Cincinnati will expose New England's problems stopping the run and beat the Patriots at Gillette Stadium. Watch the video below for his breakdown:
* Sunday Countdown: Mike Ditka, Keyshawn Johnson, Cris Carter and Tom Jackson all pick the Patriots to beat the Bengals.
* ESPN.com experts: Split right down the middle. Four of the eight pick the Patriots and the other four think the Bengals will win.
* Ken Moll, Scouts Inc.: Patriots 23, Bengals 20. His prediction is included at the end of his 10 things to watch column.