Streaking Bengals Look For Their Third Straight Win Against a Backup Quarterback
New York Jets’ rookie quarterback Zach Wilson suffered a PCL sprain in his right knee in the team’s 41 point loss last Sunday to the Patriots. The Jets then acquired longtime Bengals’ rival and ex-Raven QB Joe Flacco from the Eagles. However, Flacco is expected to serve as the backup to 4th year QB Mike White. White has thrown two interceptions in 32 career pass attempts.
The Jets are trotting out a severely inexperienced quarterback against a defense that is clicking on all cylinders. A solid run game would help them in this department, but New York ranks 32nd (dead last in the NFL) in rushing yards per game. That is a recipe for disaster if I’ve ever seen one.
On the other hand, Joe Burrow is playing with a confidence that this league has prayed he wouldn’t find. He has 17 touchdowns already in 2021 in just 7 games, compared to his 13 touchdowns in 2020, when he played 10 games. Ja’Marr Chase just set the record for the most receiving yards through the first 7 games in NFL history. Joe Mixon is averaging 4.4 yards per carry on the season. Tee Higgins just had 15 targets in a game where Ja’Marr Chase had 201 receiving yards. Did I mention CJ Uzomah, who just went for 91 yards and 2 scores in the same game? Zac Taylor is finding an identity and both he and Brian Callahan deserve credit for the emergence of an offense who demands to be reckoned with.
X-Factor: Jets’ iDL vs Bengals’ iOL
Prediction: Look, Zac Taylor’s Cincinnati Bengals are absolutely rolling. They just had their best win of the year, and more importantly Taylor’s entire tenure, in Baltimore. Prior to that, they went to Detroit and beat the Lions by 23 while allowing a TD in garbage time. Sure, the Lions are winless. But 23 point wins are hard to come by.
I do not expect the Jets offense to produce points of their own. Not against a scorching hot defense that plays with chemistry and feeds off of one another. The way they win this game, or at least make it scary for Bengals’ fans, is disrupting the Bengals’ offense at the point of attack. Up the middle. Sheldon Rankins, John Franklin-Myers and Quinnen Williams present a tough matchup for the Bengals interior offensive line. If they can get to Burrow early and often and take holes away from Joe Mixon, the game could stay close. But I just don’t see it happening. Zac Taylor is coaching with confidence and his guys are playing with even more. Cincinnati avoids an emotional letdown a week after Baltimore. Ja’Marr Chase goes for 150 yards, again and wins Rookie of the Week… again. The Bengals win 30-7.
MVP: Joe Burrow