The New York Jets (4-3) will try to win back-to-back games for the second time in the past 26 games when they take on the (5- 2) Cincinnati Bengals, Sunday.
The Bengals might pose the toughest match-up all season for the Jets. The Bengals are very similar to the Jets on the defensive side of the ball. They thrive off the physical play of their front seven, and have a bunch of veterans in the secondary. The Bengals front seven will try and stop the Jets rushing attack and put the pressure on Geno Smith to beat them through the air.
The key for the Jets offense this week is to consistently run the ball. The Bengals ill load the box to stop the run, but even if the Jets aren’t getting chunks of yards on the ground, they still need to stay committed to the run. If the Jets abandoned the run, Carlos Dunlap, Geno Atkins, and James Harrison will pin their ears back and come after Smith. If the Jets can run the ball effectively, they’ll control the clock like they did last week against New England. This will result in simpler reads for Smith and open up the play action passing game down the field.
Gang Green’s defense has been very impressive this year. They rank fourth in yards allowed, third in sacks but only have three turnovers all year. The Jets will have to find a way to continue their effective pass rush this week to rattle Andy Dalton. Antonio Cromartie and company will have to slow down one of the most explosive offensive threats in the league in A.J. Green this week if they have any chance of slowing down the Bengals offense. The Bengals are 9th in total offense and 7th in passing. More importantly the Bengals convert over 40 percent of their third downs. The Jets defense was outstanding on third down last week holding Tom Brady and the Patriots to only one third down conversion all game. Getting off the field on third down will be crucial for the Jets to control the clock and get the Bengals offense off the field.
The Jets will get their toughest test on paper this week. The Bengals are a sound football team and have been playing their best football of the year lately. The Jets will need to eliminate turnovers and limit the big play ability of the Cincinnati offense to win this one. The Jets have shown this year they play big in big games. I don’t expect Rex Ryan and his battle tested test to lay down easy this Sunday.