Preseason Preview: Jets (1-0) @ Bengals (0-1)

Cortland, New York- This Saturday night the Jets will be heading up to Cincinnati to take on the Bengals in their second preseason game.  You can fully expect to see the starters play into the second quarter and possibly until halftime.  The Bengals who are coming off another playoff season will look to bounce back from a 41-39 shootout loss to the Chiefs a week ago. The Jets will have a lot to handle as the Bengals have one of the better defenses and offenses in the league, respectively.

Geno Smith looks to lead the Jets to another victory this weekend against the Bengals and to improve their record to 2-0 for the preseason. (JetsInsider.com Photo)

This will be the first time the Jets are playing the Bengals since last year’s blowout where the Jets got hammered 49-9.  Sheldon Richardson who is one of the most outspoken players on the team said, “We owe them one,” when talking to nyjets.com.  It will be a chance for not only the defense to show up, but the offense as well.  After scoring only 13 points in last week’s win over the Colts, Geno Smith and company will be looking to put some points on the board when the first teamers are out there.  This also will be one of the last time that some of the younger players get to show their stuff as the first round of cuts are right around the corner.

When: Saturday August 16, 2014 @ 7pm EST (TV-CBS, Radio-ESPN)

Where: Paul Brown Stadium Cincinnati, Ohio

Injury Report: Dee Milliner CB (Ankle), Jeff Cumberland TE (Achilles), Eric Decker WR (Hamstring), Chris Ivory RB (Ribs), Dimitri Patterson CB (Quad/Ankle/Calf), Ras-I Dowling CB (Quad), Shaq Evans WR (Shoulder)

What To Watch For

Antonio Allen At Cornerback – Antonio Allen will be getting his first start ever at corner back this weekend.  After the injuries to Dexter McDougle and Dee Milliner, Rex Ryan has asked his safety to move over to the island.  It will be good to see how Allen stacks up against the likes of Bengals All-Pro receiver, A.J. Green.  Allen is not afraid of anyone, as he said earlier in the week, “I’m going to go out and make plays.”  If this experiment fails, the Jets will have to go back to the drawing board as they are down the bare minimum at corner back.

Rest Of The SecondaryWith McDougle and Milliner going down, and Antonio Allen moving to cornerback, there will be a lot of unfamiliar faces playing valuable minutes for the Jets secondary on Saturday.  This will give guys like Darrin Walls, Jeremy Reeves, and Rontez Miles a chance to show the coaching staff what they can do.  If any or all of them can make some plays that catch the eye of Rex Ryan, they could certainly make a case for a spot on this roster.

Will The Wide Receivers Show Up?Besides Eric Decker, the Jets are really working with a group of receivers that have a lot to prove.  In last week’s game, no one from the group really stood out as most only made an insignificant catch here or there.  The battle for the number two spot is still up for grabs, and it will be interesting to see if any of the receivers will be able to have a breakout game against the feisty Bengals defense.  Look out for some of the packages put in by Offensive Coordinator, Marty Mornhinweg, as last week he used a number of personal groupings to try and catch the Colts off guard.

Return Of The Wildcat?This past week there has been a lot of speculation as to whether the Jets will use backup quarterback, Michael Vick, in some wildcat formations.  Don’t count on it.  Vick already cautioned the media as he brought up the sticky situation he was in with Philadelphia when Donavan McNabb was the starting quarterback. Vick said, “there’s a time and place for that.”  If the Jets are really planning to use Vick in some sort of a package, they will certainly not show it this week.

X-Factors

Antonio Allen- Mark my words, Antonio Allen will show some promise at the corner back position this Saturday.  I know it is his first time playing the position, but he has been in this defense for three years now so he won’t be slowed down by the playbook.  Really, what does he have to lose?  If worst comes to worst, he will be put back at safety.  The guy is big and physical, which is what you need in a corner back.   He also has the attitude as he said he is not backing down for anybody.

Eric DeckerDecker played only two drives last week and still caught two balls.  Look for him to have a breakout game as this week he will have a chance to get into a rhythm with the first team offense.

I.K. EnemkpaliThe rookie out of Louisiana Tech is turning some heads this camp and had a strong showing in last week’s game.  Enemkpali had a strip sack fumble that sealed the game for the Jets last week.  Don’t be surprised if he has another one this week, as he has shown some good things as a primary edge rusher for Rex Ryan’s defense.

My Prediction

It is still the preseason, so it is really tough for me to make a pick when you have second and third stringers playing the whole second half, but I will try and make one anyway.  The Jets are thin in the secondary and offensively have struggled throughout camp.  However, I do think this is the game the offense breaks out of its shell, as all of the key playmakers for the Jets will most likely play until the end of the first half.  I think it will be a more high scoring game than a week ago and my pick is Jets win 27-24 over the Bengals with another game winning field goal by the rookie Andrew Furney.

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