Fresh off a sweep of the Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati (4-2-1) welcomes Jacksonville to town. The Jaguars (1-7) are owners of just one victory on the year a 24-6 victory over Cleveland.
The Bengals and Jaguars have played 19 times in history with Jacksonville leading the series 11 games to eight. Jacksonville has won the last two matchups, 27-10 in 2012 and 30-20 in 2011.
The Bengals are undefeated in their last 13 home games with their last home loss coming Dec 9[sup]th[/sup] of 2012.
On the injury front, it looks like AJ Green will finally return from his nagging toe injury. However, the team will be without starting linebackers Vontaze Burfict and Rey Maualuga. Also out is Gio Bernard, replaced by rookie Running Back Jeremy Hill and to a lesser extent Cedric Peerman. Both Darqueze Dennard and Kevin Zeitler are doubtful.
Jacksonville has the 30[sup]th[/sup] ranked offense in the NFL. They are 28[sup]th[/sup] in passing and 25[sup]th[/sup] rushing. The Bengals enter the game with the 30[sup]th[/sup] ranked defense. They are 23[sup]rd[/sup] against the pass and 29[sup]th[/sup] against the run.
First overall pick Blake Bortles has started five of the six games he played this season. He has a 68.3 passer rating completing 63.5% of his passes with 6tds and 12ints. He has thrown atleast two interceptions in five of his six games.
The Jacksonville running game has been in flux. Going into the year the team signed Toby Gerhart as the presumed lead back in the offense. Injuries and poor play opened the door for other backs and Denard Robinson has taken over the top spot on the depth chart with back to back 100 yard games.
The Jaguars receiving unit has been led by three rookies and Cecil Shorts. Allen Robinson leads all Jaguars wide receivers in receptions (39) and yards (453). Shorts has 23 catches and 216 yards in his five games this year, Allen Hurns has 22 catches for 354 yards and Marqise Lee has 12 catches for 128 yards. Clay Harbor has filled in for injured Marcedes Lewis with 22 catches for 244 yards.
Starting LT Luke Joeckel looks like he will start this week after leaving the game last week with a concussion.
The Bengals only have 11 sacks so far this year after ending 2013 with 43 sacks. This might be the prime game to get their new rotation going as Wallace Gilberry, Robert Geathers and Margus Hunt all try to find their niche with more snaps.
The Bengals enter the game with the 16[sup]th[/sup] ranked Offense. They are 14[sup]th[/sup] in passing yards, and 16[sup]th[/sup] in rushing yards per game. The Jaguars defense isn’t much better than the offense. They rank 26[sup]th[/sup] overall, 27[sup]th[/sup] in passing defense and 20[sup]th[/sup] against the run.
Jacksonville’s defense is led by middle linebacker Paul Posluszny. He has 69 total tackles this year after leading the league in tackles in 2013. Second year man Johnathan Cyprien leads the defensive backfield with 53 tackles on the year.
The Jaguars have only had three interceptions on the year, but have sacked the opposing QB 25 times this year.
[color=#333333][font=inherit]Keys to the Game:[/font][/color]
[color=#333333][font=inherit]The game will likely hinge on several things. [/font][/color][list=1]
[*][color=#333333][font=inherit]Can the Bengals get the running game going without Gio Bernard?[/font][/color]
[*][color=#333333][font=inherit]Can the Bengals protect [/font][/color][color=#333333][font=inherit]Dalton?[/font][/color]
[*]Overall, will the Bengals play down to their competition?
[b][size=2]Go-Bengals prediction: [/size][/b]
[b][size=2]26 Go-Bengals Members posted in this weeks poll. [/size][/b]
[size=2]42% Believed that the Bengals would win by 7-13 points[/size]
[size=2]30% Believed that the Bengals would win by 2 touchdowns or more [/size]
[size=2]23% Believed that the Bengals would win by 1-6 points[/size]
[size=2]3% Believed that the Jags would win by 1-6 points[/size]
[size=2]0% Believed that the Jags would win by 2 touchdowns or more[/size]
[size=2]0% Believed that the Jags would win by 7-13 points[/size]
[size=2]95% Believed that the Bengals would win[/size]
[size=2]3% Believed that the Jags would win[/size]
Prediction thread highlights
1. HSH: [i]Yesterday I heard on the radio that the line on this game has us winning by a whopping 12 points.[/i]
[i]Take me to your bookie.With the Bengals tendency to play down to the level of the competition (Hello, Carolina Hello Kitties)[/i]
[i]I think it will be closer than that.[/i]
2. Whodey365:[i] Bengals by a touchdown.[/i]
3. Madieu Superstar: [i]Bengals by a field goal. I'm thinking its going to look ugly.[/i]
4. Scharm: [i]Bengals by 10 in a tougher/closer game than expected.[/i]
5. Schotzee: [i]Bengals by 2.995. They end it in a supposed game winning field goal. .005 deducted bc Nuge kicks it with his opposite foot. [/i]
6. SnickyCat: [i]Also...Bengals 24-13. Jeremy Hill hits 100 yards rushing & someone gets a pick-6 (Nelson maybe).[/i]
7. Bubba: [i]Bengals 34, Jags. 10[/i]
8. Cricket: [i]I don't have much confidence in Marvin getting the team fired up enough for this game. I hope that he proves me wrong.[/i]