Week 4: Cincinnati Bengals At Jacksonville Jaguars
- QuarterbackThe Bengals thought they were getting a decent prospect when they drafted Andy Dalton in 2011 but they may have been underestimated. Dalton is a coming superstar who plays with poise, throws the ball with accuracy and has a superior release.Blaine Gabbert loves the game and is a big-time competitor. He doesn’t shy away from contact or responsibility. He was hungering to get the ball back after the Indianapolis Colts took a late lead and he responded by throwing a game-winning touchdown pass.
- OffenseThe Bengals have a boatload of weapons, but they need to get a little more from the running game than they did against the Redskins. BenJarvus Green-Ellis was held to 38 yards and that’s not going to get the job done. However, A.J. Green and Andrew Hawkins are explosive down-the-field threats.The Jaguars feel a lot better about their offense because Maurice Jones-Drew was back in form against the Colts. He ran for 177 yards and looked quicker than any of the Colts defender. His presence allows Jaguar receivers to get single-coverage until they deserve better than that. Cecil Shorts caught the game-winning 80-yard touchdown pass, but that was the only time he got open.
- DefenseThe Bengals are a very aggressive and athletic defense, but they appeared to lose their traction late in the game against the Redskins and then barely held on. Defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer has to do something to improve the run defense, which appeared to be a strength with Geno Atkins and Domata Peko.The Jaguars don’t have a lot of big-name superstars on defense, but they hustle all over the field and they appear to be in great condition. OLB Russell Allen will go all over the field to make tackles while fellow linebacker Paul Posluszny had a pick against rookie quarterback Andrew Luck and is almost always positioned correctly.
- Special TeamsThe Bengals are not going to give up many big plays because they have solid special teams coverage. Punter Kevin Huber has a solid directional leg and placed 3-of-4 punts inside the 20 against the Redskins. Mike Nugent has become a dependable field goal kicker.The Jaguars have one of the best punters in the league in Bryan Anger. He may not be well-known, but Anger has a booming leg and he averaged 53.5 yards on 6 punts against the Colts. Josh Scobee is a good but not exceptional placekicker.
The Jaguars pulled off the difficult assignment of registering a come-from-behind win in the fourth quarter while playing on the road. That should increase the team’s confidence as they come home to play a Bengals team that has plenty of talent but is somewhat inconsistent. This will be a close game and the winning team will need to find a way to run the ball.