Jacksonville Jaguars (0-3) @ Cincinnati Bengals (2-1)

Injuries Ravaging Bengals on Short Week

A slightly banged up Bengals team just left Pittsburgh with a 24-10 victory. Four days later, they are tasked with hosting the Jacksonville Jaguars. This time, however, a little more than “slightly” banged up. Chidobe Awuzie and Jessie Bates were dinged up in week 3. Bates is out on Thursday along with Tee Higgins, who will miss his second straight game. Awuzie and Xavier Sua’Filo are both listed as doubtful and will likely miss the game and use the mini bye week to prepare for the Green Bay Packers in week 5.


Even taking all of Cincinnati’s injuries into consideration, they’re still supremely more talented than a Jags’ team that looks like a college team at times. To put it nicely, Jacksonville’s defense is full of inexperience and nobodies. A year ago, Joe Mixon had the best game of his season when Jacksonville was in town, putting up 181 total yards to go along with 3 touchdowns. I don’t see much changing in this game. 

On the other side of the ball, Trae Waynes will be making his Bengals’ debut after missing the first 19 games of his tenure. With Awuzie and Bates likely to both miss, this is huge. The Jags trio of Laviska Shenault, Marvin Jones Jr. and DJ Chark is probably their biggest strength and they’ll surely be looking to unleash those three. Especially going up against a Bengals run defense that is currently allowing only 3.3 yards per carry.

X-Factor: Bengals’ Secondary vs Jags’ WRs
Prediction: If the Bengals were fully healthy on the defensive side of the ball, I think this game would be over at halftime. But that’s not exactly how things work in the NFL. The Bengals will be tested by Trevor Lawrence early and often. Here’s the thing: I do not see Jacksonville stopping either Joe all game long. Mixon likely sees another heavy workload and the offense will look fresh after only 44 snaps last Sunday. Joe Burrow’s first primetime home game in front of the Jungle can’t be stopped. At least not by this team, led by Trevor Lawrence, who Burrow already showed up on the biggest stage of college football, and Urban Meyer, who didn’t ever give Burrow a shot to play at Ohio State. The Bengals start hot but finish slow, winning 31-20. 

MVP: Joe Mixon

Logan Vaughn

I write about Cincinnati sports in my free time.

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