The Bengals are currently in the middle of a stretch of games where they play 4 out of 5 on the road, they have won the past 2 games on the road (against the Bills and Lions) both by a score of 27-24, and today they play the lone home game in that stretch against the New York Jets. It won’t be easy to come away with a victory though as they go against a tough Jets team who come in with the 4th ranked overall defense in the NFL and are coming off of a big win in overtime last week over the New England Patriots. The Bengals have also had a history of struggling against rookie quarterbacks and this week they face another in Jets QB Geno Smith.
The Bengals will try to win there 4th game in a row and will try to improve to 4-0 at home on the season. A few things to look out for in this game for the Bengals:
1) Can Andy Dalton stay on a roll. Dalton is coming off back-to-back games of throwing for over 300 yards and 3 TD passes in each game. He has made good decisions, spread the ball around well to his weapons, and has only thrown one interception over those 2 games.
2) Life without Leon. How will the Bengals secondary account for the loss of Leon Hall? It will be interesting to see how 2012 1st round draft pick Dre Kirkpatrick plays as he will most likely see increased playing time. The time is now for Dre to prove he was worthy of being drafted in the first round.
3) D-line pressure. The Bengals defensive line played well last week against a quarterback in Matthew Stafford who gets rid of the ball quick but they did not record any sacks. I imagine they will be motived to end the sack drought this week against a rookie QB.
Many Bengals fans still have a bad taste in their mouth from 2 losses to the Jets back in 2009. They were crushed by the Jets in New York 37-0 in the final regular season game in 09′ and then the next week they were beaten at home 24-14 in the AFC Wild Card Playoff game. The Bengals lost to the Jets in NY again in 2010 by a score of 26-10. The last time Cincinnati defeated the Jets was back in 2007 when they came away with a 38-31 win in Cincy. This will be Andy Dalton and A.J. Green’s first time playing against the Jets in a regular season game and I like the Bengals to win in a close one.
My Prediction: Bengals 23, Jets 21