Bengals vs. Jaguars Game Preview

The Jaguars are favored for the first time in nearly a month as they take on the 2-2 Cincinnati Bengals. Find out what the Jaguars need to do to secure Blaine Gabbert's first professional victory.

Cincinnati Bengals (2-2) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-3)

Sunday, October 9th, 2011, 1:00

Everbank Field

Kickoff Temperature: 76 degrees, 60% chance of rain

Line: Jaguars by 3; Over/under- 37

Series history- Jaguars lead 11-6 and have won four of the last five meetings.

Offensive Keys to a Jaguars Victory

1. Establish the run. It doesn't have to be on the opening drive, but at some point the Jaguars will need to find success running the football. The receivers are simply not good enough to beat one-on-one coverage and if Jacksonville can't run, their odds of scoring more than 10 points become very slim.

2. Try some gadget plays. What do you have to lose? The team averages just under 10 points per game and if you can pick up a free score, you might just win a football game.

3. Catch the forward pass. Life as a rookie quarterback can be very difficult and it's even more difficult if you have a set of receivers who can't get open or catch the ball. The Jaguars don't have any reliable targets on the outside and those guys have to take it personal that most of the league thinks they're a laughing stock. Make some plays and earn some respect.

Defensive Keys to a Jaguars Victory

1. Blanket A.J. Green. The dynamic Bengals rookie is making a name for himself as he's fast enough to smoke man coverage and athletic enough to go up and over smaller cornerbacks. If the Jaguars can take Green out of the game, the Bengals are short on playmakers.

2. Force the ball to the edges. In the passing game the Jaguars must cover the middle and force the questionable-armed Andy Dalton to throw the ball outside the hash marks like they did to Colt McCoy last season. In the running game, the Bengals don't have the home run threats that can beat the Jaguars linebackers to the corners.

3. Come down with the turnovers. Just as the Jaguars have a rookie quarterback, the Bengals have a rookie signal caller and they do make mistakes. If the Jaguars can catch the errant passes that Andy Dalton will undoubtedly make, they will have an excellent opportunity to shut down a very mediocre Bengals offense.


- It's not often that a team gets to face a rookie quarterback, and the Jaguars get to face their second rookie signal caller in three weeks. This time he's not as athletic and he has a weaker arm and the Jaguars need to win the game.

- Play action time! According to, the Bengals have an NFL worst 151.5 passer rating against them on "play action" passes, including 330 yards and three touchdowns.

- The Jaguars have lost three straight games and if they drop this one, the losing streak could catapult to as many as seven in a row as their next three opponents are Pittsburgh, Baltimore and Houston. Jobs could realistically be lost in-season if the bleeding doesn't stop.

Charlie Bernstein is the NFL Insider for ESPN 1080 and 1040 in Orlando/Tampa and the host of "The Sports Crunch" on the Aquarius 7 Broadcasting Network (national), and Editor-in-Chief of Sports Media Interactive, covering multiple teams in the National Football League, NCAA, and National Basketball Association. Charlie covers the Jacksonville Jaguars for FoxSports and has been featured on the NFL Network and Sirius NFL Radio. Charlie is also a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. You can follow Charlie on Twitter @nflcharlie

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