Blobner in the Blind: Jags vs. Bengals

Blind Resumes are typically reserved for college hoops and March Madness to give fans and analysts alike a chance to pick which team more deserves to be in the dance minus bias. I've decided to apply that same formula to your Jacksonville Jaguars and the Cincinnati Bengals as they gear up for a preseason game in which the starters will see a ton of playing time.

Blind Resumes are typically reserved for college hoops and March Madness to give fans and analysts alike a chance to pick which team more deserves to be in the dance minus bias.  I've decided to apply that same formula to your Jacksonville Jaguars and the Cincinnati Bengals as they gear up for a preseason game in which the starters will see a ton of playing time.  The Bengals have been highly successful the past few years, between their AFC North Division Titles and Pro Bowl player nods.  The Jags have been the opposite, to be blunt.  When it comes to individual stats though, the teams may be closer than they appear in a race for a 2016/17 NFL playoff berth.  Let's begin....

 

*- Indicates Projected Stat

 

Quarter Back A: 25/7, TD: INT Ratio (3.57)

Quarter Back B: 35/18, TD: INT Ratio (1.94)

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Defensive Tackle A: 11 Sacks

Defensive Tackle B: 5 Sacks

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Running Back A/B: 377 attempts 1,525 yards (4.04 avg)

Running Back C/D: 429 attempts 1,810 yards (4.21 avg)

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Line Backer A: 91* Solo Tackles

Line Backer B: 99 Solo Tackles

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Wide Receiver A: 80 catches/1490 yards

Wide Receiver B: 86 catches/1297 yards

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Tight End A: 5 TDs

Tight End B: 13 TDs

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Kicker A: 82.1%

Kicker B: 86.7%

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QB A -(Cincy) Andy Dalton

QB B -(Jags) Blake Bortles

Dalton gets some of the worst recognition in the league for his statistical accomplishments during the regular season and ability to lead his team into the playoffs because of a poor post season record.  Bortles on the other hand is heading into his 3rd season trying to cement himself as a talent in the league but has to improve his ball security if he wants to continue to be taken more seriously from his peers.  Dalton may not be as flashy as Russell Wilson or as decorated as Eli Manning but he gets the job done.  When 20 other QBs are on the golf course in January, Dalton is still battling for a Lombardi Trophy.  It's a weird thing to say aloud but Bortles should aspire to be where Dalton is during his 6th year in the league.

 

DT A -(Cincy) Geno Atkins

DT B -(Jags) Malik Jackson

Malik was the gem of the Jags free agent class in the off season and he didn't come cheap; a lot of people expect him to be the anchor for the Jacksonville defense.  Although his sack stats from last season don't take into consideration how much he eats up the run game and puts pressure on opposing QBs, it is important to note 5 isn't exactly stellar.  Especially when you compare it to Geno Atkins 11 for the Bengals last year.  Atkins has been a monster for the Cincinnati D, and the Jags are praying Malik can be that guy for their squad. 

 

RB A/B -(Cincy) Jeremy Hill/Giovani Bernard

RB C/D -(Jags) Chris Ivory/T.J. Yeldon

Hill & Gio are considered one of the best 1/2 punches at RB in the NFL today but last season Ivory & Yeldon out performed them.  Given Ivory was in New York, but still, the average per run was higher combined with the Jags backs over the Cincy boys.  Both duos faced injuries last year so I didn't take missed games into consideration.  As long as Yeldon can progress in year two and Ivory doesn't regress, it seems the Duval Dash will find themselves pretty high on the pedestal of running back tandems.

 

LB A -(Cincy) Vontaze Burfict

LB B -(Jags) Telvin Smith

Burfict is as nasty of a hitter and defensive player as there is in this league.  Dirty or not, he's a hell of a football player and strikes fear into opponents as if he's an old school gridiron legend like Ronnie Lott or Jack Lambert.  I adjusted his total solo tackles for what he was on pace to get before missing part of the 2015 season with injury.  On the other side, Telvin Smith is one of the most underrated guys in the league; he may not be as savage as Burfict but his production is impossible to argue with.  I'll take 5 extra tackles over one big hit any day of the week, and twice on Sundays!

 

WR A -(Jags) Allen Robinson

WR B -(Cincy) A.J. Green

Two of the best pass catchers in the game today, and both with stats to back it up.  ARob enters his first season with Top 10 NFL WR expectations, while Green is already used to that pressure.  The one stipulation is Green pulls a lot of double teams and still has proven he can produce; Robinson is only heading into that realm in 2016 for the first time in his career.  There is a question mark there but everything we've seen from the spectacular Jaguar says he can handle it.  Either way, come 12 months from now there's a pretty good chance the conversation is how other receivers can be more like ARob and not vice-versa.

 

TE A -(Jags) Julius Thomas

TE B -(Cincy) Tyler Eifert

This comparison could be the most skewed of all, after Eifert had his best year and Thomas was one season removed from his best in Denver.  However, it is what it is aside from age with Eifert being much younger than the grizzled Thomas; both players have the capability of being a top 5 TE this year and I think realistically it's closer than people talk about.  The edge obviously still goes to Eifert though.

 

K A -(Cincy) Mike Nugent

K B -(Jags) Jason Myers

I wanted to put the kickers in here because I feel like fans only remember when these guys miss the uprights and not how consistent they are through the course of a year.  Myers needs to improve, and as a young kid he most likely will build off of his percentage from a year ago.  Notice though, Myers was actually a better kicker than his Cincy counterpart, Mike Nugent.  The percentage doesn't take into consideration clutch kicks and game winners which is the real measure of this position but consistency is key.

 

Take from this tale of the tape what you want, bottom line is it all comes down to team Wins.  It's the only stat that really matters and the Bengals by far have the better recent success in that category.  It is encouraging however, that by the numbers... the Jags can compete.  When Cincinnati comes to Everbank for Sunday Night Prime Time Football in a few days, we can really gauge how close or far away these two squads are from each other on the gridiron.

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