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Jaguars vs. Bengals preview
The Jacksonville Jaguars (1-7) visit the Cincinnati Bengals (4-2-1) at Paul Brown Stadium at 1:00 PM EST.
Jaguars are coming of a 27-13 loss against the Miami Dolphins in which rookie quarterback Blake Bortles threw two pick 6s which turned into the difference in the game. Running back Denard Robinson had his 2nd 100 yard rushing game in a row and the defense really showed that with some key players missing they can still be dominant.
Cincinnati is coming off an exciting game against a divisional rival in the Baltimore Ravens. Quarterback Andy Dalton ran for two scores, yeah I said that right, one of which came with 57 seconds left in the game to put the score to 27-24 and to secure the win. With the win, the Bengals currently reside in first place in the AFC North.
Setting the stage
Jacksonville will be away from home for the next two weeks which includes the "across the pond" trek to London. This could play into the mental side of the today's game but coach Gus Bradley should have them ready to play. Blake Bortles has had a week to watch film on the last two games and I see him improving. The running game should continue to do what they have been doing with a Bengals squad that is ranked 29th against the run.
We may be catching the Bengals at a good time. A tough win against a divisional foe last week and they play another divisional foe on Thursday in the Cleveland Browns. This could be a looking towards the next game type of day for them. They are definitely looking at today's game as the easiest on the schedule for the next four weeks.
With that being said, Cincinnati is a better team than us according to their record. Let's use that "any given Sunday" mentality and hit them in the mouth. I don't think they are ready for it, especially form Jacksonville
5 keys to winning
- Bengals defense -- it is among the leagues worst against the rush (29th) and passing defense is ranked 23rd. We know the defense will scheme for a rookie quarterback but if Bortles can limit the mistakes, this is an advantage I think the Jags can take advantage of.
- Jaguars rushing -- Denard Robinson is the guy. Everyone else is coming in to give him a breather. Along with the offensive line playing better in this phase of the game, "D-Rob" has really brought life back to the non-existent running game this year. Keep it up and you will have success.
- Control yourself Blake -- Do not press. Do not turn into just a pure game manager. Do not make the same mistakes and listen to your self. You make plays Jags fans have not seen in years and we want to see you make them again today and in the future. Limit the mistakes that you admittedly stated "I am killing us." Risk vs reward is what the focus should be....and keep running. The added dimension will keep the Bengals defense on it's toes and should help in the passing game
- Score early -- You are on the road, take the crowd out of the game. Just like the BEGINNING of the Eagles game, get the crowd totally out of it by scoring early and often and then let the run game finish the game. GIVE DENARD THE BALL and then work in the play action to Allen Robinson....not that I am biased.
- Defend the pass -- The Bengals are a middle of the pack passing attack team. They have, arguably, the best receiver in the NFL back from injury in A.J. Green. Don't let this phase of the game beat you. "Next man up" as they say. We have a number of injuries in the secondary but get the pass rush going and this will not be a problem.
If there was a limb, I don't think I am going out on it for this game. Although I will start off with a caveat -- if the Bortles limits his mistakes and the defense plays the way they have been the last three weeks, Jaguars can win this game.
The Gators upset Georgia yesterday in a big way. Navy (my team) gave Notre Dame a scare. Jaguars beat the Bengals....this is a good weekend in football for me leading up to my London trip.