The Cincinnati Bengals find themselves 0-2 after their first two games. This situation is not how Bengal fans envisioned their team, especially after being in the Super Bowl the previous year. Losing to the Cowboys 20-17 last Sunday has people questioning if this team even has what it takes to make a postseason run. The Bengals must regroup, make the appropriate adjustments, and fix any communication problems if they plan on walking away with a win this week. Check out the top football odds.
Playing in MetLife Stadium against the 1-1 New York Jets will not be a walk in the park. The Jets just defeated the Browns 31-30 with a rallying touchdown in the game’s final minutes, proving they can go the distance to win. Bengal fans still have the bad memory of last year’s trap game against the Jets when their backup quarterback Mike White threw for 404 yards to take the win.
This game will be crucial in helping Bengals head coach Zac Taylor steer his ship around into becoming a true contender again.
All stats courtesy of ESPN
Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow is a true competitor in every sense of the word. His desire to win brought the Bengals back in their last two games, even providing chances to pull off the comebacks. Burrow must find his mojo again while getting the team off to a fast start. He will need to stay patient as he processes the defense and looks for ways to take advantage of coverages. Burrow can make it a long day for the Jets if he can get the ball out fast while owning the middle of the field.
The main objective for the offense in this game will be to keep Burrow upright. The offensive line must do better in the trenches, and communication will be vital. The Jet’s defensive line is solid, but nothing like what the Bengals have faced in their last two games. Defensive end Carl Lawson played four seasons with the Bengals before landing with the Jets. It will be left tackle Jonah Williams’s job to keep Lawson contained and away from Burrow.
The other Jets defensive lineman to keep an eye on is Quinnen Williams. Allowing him to control the line of scrimmage is not an option. The stripe’s offensive line should start to gel after facing two top lines for the last two weeks giving Burrow the time he needs to execute the offense.
If the Jets have studied any film on the Bengals, they will probably follow the identical blueprints as the last two teams. They will likely play a lot of Tampa cover two to take away the big plays that the Bengals can make, which should allow running back Joe Mixon to take advantage of the Jet’s subpar linebacking corps. The Jets gave up 184 rushing yards against the Browns, which is a good sign for Mixon. Getting the ground game going early in this game is a must.
It would be nice to see the coaches incorporate running back Chris Evans more into the playbook. Expanding his role could be the explosiveness needed to capture third downs. If the Bengals are committed to the run this week, why not use Evans’s ability to run or catch the ball out of the backfield?
Cincinnati fans wished the Bengals had a chance to draft defensive back, Ahmad Sauce Gardner out of the University of Cincinnati in the first round. However, picking number 31 left no chance of that. The Jets chose him with the 4th pick of the draft. They also boosted up their secondary by obtaining D.J. Reed in free agency. Reed only allowed three catches for 24 yards last game. Reed may more than likely get the job of keeping Chase under wraps, but that is easier said than done. Check out the top football betting strategies.
If given time, burrow will test these corners with Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins. Watching Chase and Higgins go up against Gardner will be worth the price of admission. If the Bengals can establish their running game early, then you may see Burrow take more deep shots down the field, something they have been lacking. It is tough to keep a playmaker like Chase down for too long.
The Bengals are very familiar with Jets backup quarterback Joe Flacco. On his 15th year in the league, eleven of those with Baltimore, Flacco has the experience to win. If you take him lightly, he can make you pay as he did with the Browns throwing 307 yards with four touchdowns. The Jet’s offensive line only gave up two sacks and four quarterback pressures.
The Bengal’s defense will need to apply pressure early. Flacco tends to make mistakes when he feels uncomfortable in his pocket. His history with the Bengals proves he will throw interceptions when uncomfortable when pressured. Time to turn up the heat with defensive ends Trey Hendrickson and Sam Hubbard. I would also like to see pass rusher Joesph Ossai play more on the outside this week to see what kind of havoc he can cause.
Flacco, like Burrow, has plenty of weapons to use, and the most dangerous of them is Ohio State by product, rookie receiver Garrett Wilison. He was targeted 14 times, coming away with 102 yards and two touchdowns. The Bengal’s top cornerback Chidobe Awuzie will have the task of shutting him down. Underrated Awuzie has been playing lights-out football and should make it a lot harder for Wilson to have another top performance.
Unrelenting D.J. Reader will be the centerpiece of the Bengals defensive line and will need to be the glue that contains the Jets running game of rookie Breece Hall. Having the starters play most of the game has sometimes hurt the Bengals. Providing a solid rotation on the line should boost up the pass rush.
Former Bengals tight end C.J. Uzomah now with the Jets, has been injured, but it should be a game-time decision if he plays. If so, Linebacker Logan Wilson could be a key matchup, as they are both very familiar with each other. PFF has given Wilson a 72.0 coverage grade through week two, so he has the ability to impact Uzomah’s game.
If the Jets and Flacco decide to air it out more, then we may see more of our first-round draft pick safety, Dax Hill. He has not been used as much in the first two games, but Bengal fans are anxious to see how he adds to the defense. After all, the defense needs to create more turnovers if they want to turn this team around.
No one should be writing this team off after just two games. After all, there are 15 more games to be played. In his weekly press conference, Joe Burrow even talked about it, telling fans not to worry.
“We’ve lost two games in a row before; we lost two games in a row several times last year. Lot of football left to be played.”
“We’ve got great players, great coaches understanding our plan,” Burrow said. “We know what we need to fix it.”
With the proper adjustments, the Bengals have the opportunity to change their destiny by getting a win against the Jets, then turning around and taking a win against the Miami Dolphins next Thursday night in front of their home crowd in the Jungle. It all starts with a win on Sunday.
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