Preview: Jets (4-3) vs. Bengals (5-2)

Florham Park, NJ – It’s amazing how each week the Jets establish either a new high or a new low. They have gone from stealing a victory against the still winless Bucs, to pulling one out against the hated rival New England Patriots. They’ve set the lows from a painful three-point loss to those same Patriots, to a poor six-point showing against a then winless Steelers team.

Antonio Cromartie will have his hands full with AJ Green this Sunday.

If their inconsistencies stay consistent we could be looking at a pretty bad loss this Sunday. The Bengals, with as good of a defense as any in the league, are certainly equipped to do it. The Bengals have one of the best run defenses in the league, holding opponents under 100-yards rushing, and a 3.8 ypc average. It certainly helps that they have one of the best defensive lines in football that is also known for rushing the passer.

But the Jets offensive line is pretty impressive in its own right. Even with the loss of Mike Goodson the running game continued to hum. Chris Ivory had his best game in green, and him and Bilal Powell will look to keep that going. And let’s not forget that the Jets have a pretty good defense of their own.

When: Sunday, October 27 2013, 4:05  pm EST (TV-CBS Radio-ESPN)

Where: Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinatti, OH

Injury Report (as of Thursday) –

Jets – DNP: WR Santonio Holmes (hamstring) LMT: TE Jeff Cumberland (hamstring), WR Jeremy Kerley (hamstring), S Antonio Allen (groin, finger), C Nick Mangold (ribs), TE Konrad Rueland (knee), WR Greg Salas (knee).

Bengals – Out: CB Leon Hall (achilles), DT Devon Stills(elbow) DNP: WR Marvin Jones (shoulder), LB Rey Maualuga (hamstring), CB Terrence Newman (ankle) LMT: RB Rex Burkhead (calf)

Game Keys:

Establishing the Run – As mentioned the Bengals defensive line might be one of the best in football. The rest of the defense isn’t too bad either. Geno Smith played well last week, but a strong running game will keep the pressure off of him, and limit his opportunities of forcing a turnover against an opportunistic defense.

Keep AJ Green in check – Green is the main game changer for this team. He seems to have a big play every week. Antonio Cromartie had a good game on Sunday, but he has struggled this season, and will likely shadow Green for much of the day. If he can keep Green in check this game should be a low scoring affair. That’s another way to take the pressure off of Geno.

Pressure Andy Dalton – In the past few weeks Dalton has put together some pretty nice performances. He has already beaten Aaron Rodgers, Ben Roethlisberger, and Tom Brady this season, but he is not an elite quarterback. Dalton can be rattled, and make mistakes. Teams have been trying to combat the Jets strong defensive line, but if they can find a way to pressure Dalton they should be able to force a turnover for the second straight week.

X-Factor:

Brian Winters – The rookie has been solid so far, but has had some breakdowns as well. He can’t afford to do that this week. He will likely have Geno Atkins lined up across from him this week. Atkins is a guy who could terrorize Winters all day and make things very tough for the Jets offense. On the other hand, if Winters performs well that would be a huge boost for this team.

The Pick – I’m riding this roller coaster until the pattern stops. The Bengals are going to win a close one.

The Jets defense is going to keep this low scoring. I’m not the biggest Andy Dalton fan, and Rex is certainly the coach to knock him off his game. But that Bengals defense is too good to allows Chris Ivory to have a repeat performance. Even if David Nelson builds on his strong performance, there just isn’t enough for Geno to pull out a game-winning drive this week.

Bengals win 24-21

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