Jaguars at Bengals Game Preview

Jacksonville dropped a tough game to Cleveland at home, 23-17, while it was business as usual for the Bengals, as they were blown out in Houston, 35-6. JagNation looks at how the two match up this weekend.

Jacksonville Jaguars at Cincinnati Bengals
Sunday, November 2, 2008, 1pm EST
Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, OH

: Jacksonville 3-4, Cincinnati 0-8

Series history: Jaguars lead, 11-5. Last meeting Jaguars won 23-20 in Jacksonville in 2005.

Cincinnati offense 32nd overall (31st passing, 30th rushing); Scoring- 32nd – 13.0 ppg. vs. Jacksonville defense 23rd overall (22nd passing, 17th rushing); Scoring- 14th- 21.6 ppg.

The Cincinnati Bengals are probably a little better than their 0-8 record indicates, but not by much as they have a lot of issues on both sides of the ball. Ryan Fitzpatrick will likely start his third consecutive game for the Bengals and although he's certainly no Carson Palmer, his play has improved. Fitzpatrick has a very strong arm, but he will make mistakes as most inexperienced quarterbacks will. He has completed 60.7% of his throws in three starts, thrown 2 TD's/5 INT's, and has a QB rating of 61.6.

The Bengals have a running back by committee approach, as they started former Bear Kris Benson last week, and will mix in Chris Perry and Kenny Watson. None of the three have been particularly impressive.

Fitzpatrick has a wealth of wide receiver talent to throw to, starting with T.J. Houshmanzadeh, who leads the team with 54 receptions for 512 yards and three touchdowns. Chad Ocho-Cinco has been hampered by a shoulder injury and has just 32 catches on the year. Chris Henry is the Bengals third receiver and he is a great deep threat, albeit being a threat to the community off the field. Tight ends Reggie Kelley and Ben Utecht are both solid pass catchers who can expose a seam.

The Jaguars must be able to manufacture a pass rush against Cincinnati being that the receiver-secondary matchups tend to be in the Bengals favor.

Best offensive matchup for Cincinnati: T.J. Houshmanzadeh vs. Brian Williams- T.J. is one of the very best wide receivers in the NFL and if the Jaguars defensive line can't manufacture some pressure, Williams will have a tough time with a player who runs great routes and catches everything.

Best defensive matchup for Jacksonville: John Henderson vs. Eric Ghiaciuc- Henderson should be extra motivated after the Jags latest beating and he should be able to dominate up front against a very average center.

Jacksonville offense 20th overall (20th passing, 14th rushing); Scoring- 25th 20.1 ppg. vs. Cincinnati defense 22nd overall (8th passing, 28th rushing); Scoring- 27th – 27.1 ppg.

The Jaguars have struggled running the ball of late and Cincinnati can't seem to stop the run. This is a perfect time for the Jaguars to once against re-establish their identity as a run-first team.

Marvin Lewis' Bengals defense is statistically one of the worst in the league. They haven't been able to get any pass rush with ends Robert Geathers and Antwaun Odom, as they team has just six sacks. Defensive tackles Domata Peko and John Thornton haven't done much to stop opposing rushers, as there is only a handful of teams in the league that stops the run worse.

Rashad Jeantry may be the Bengals best linebacker, as rookie Keith Rivers was knocked out for the season by Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward, as he suffered a broken jaw on a crack-back block. Cornerbacks Leon Hall and Jonathan Joseph will have their hands full with the Jaguars receivers, and safeties Marvin White and Dexter Jackson have been average at best.

Best offensive matchup for Jacksonville: Jaguars offensive line vs. Cincinnati defensive line. The Jaguars love to run the football and the Bengals have had a difficult time stopping the run. Jacksonville will try to make that trend continue.

Best defensive matchup for Cincinnati: Linebacker Rashad Jeantry vs. David Garrard- Jeantry is quietly becoming a very good linebacker and if Garrard isn't aware of him at all times, it could equal a big play for the Bengals defense.

Special Teams

Cincinnati: PK Shayne Graham, P Kyle Larson, LS Brad St. Louis, PR Antonio Chatman, KOR Glenn Holt

Jacksonville: PK Josh Scobee, P Adam Podlesh, LS Joe Zelenka, KOR Brian Witherspoon, PR Brian Witherspoon

Special teams advantage: The Jaguars have a better coverage unit, and the more dangerous return men. Special teams seems to tilt in the Jaguars favor.

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