GWR's On The Ball Preview

How will the New York Jets look to tame the wild duo of Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens? Can the Bengals depleted secondary stop the Jets passing offense?

The New York Jets face the Cincinnati Bengals for the fifth time in five years Thanksgiving night when Cinci visits the New Meadowlands Stadium on Thursday night. New York (8-2), which has hosted the teams' last three regular-season meetings, looks to build on a three-game winning streak while the Bengals (2-8) are trying to snap a losing streak of seven games.

BENGALS ON OFFENSE: Wideout Terrell Owens called Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis an "average" cornerback on Tuesday, firing back at Revis for referring to Owens as a "slouch" during an NFL Network interview at the end of last season. Each player will get his chance to make good on his respective comments come Thursday night when they line up across one another. Owens has hauled in eight touchdown passes and amassed 897 yards so far this season. Revis hasn't looked as good as last season but is regaining his 2009 form after suffering a hamstring injury that sidelined him earlier in the year. He has been covering multiple receivers throughout games due to the success of teammate Antonio Cromartie… Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer has thrown some pretty horrendously-timed interceptions this season, and the Buffalo Bills are the only team with fewer picks than the Jets on defense. New York has only five on the season, so, will that total go up Thursday?... The Jets are ranked fourth against the run and should easily contain a Cincinnati team that averages just 3.8 yards a carry.

***Key to Cincy's offense – Throw at the middle of New York's defense. The Jets aren't very fast in coverage at linebacker, and throwing at Revis and Cro often is obviously a bit of a risk with Palmer's knack for tossing picks this season. Plus, the Jets safeties haven't proven much in pass coverage.

BENGALS ON DEFENSE: For a team that grabs all kinds of headlines about being undisciplined off the field, it doesn't show up on defense. Cincinnati has the fifth-fewest penalty yards on defense, which is a big reason why the team spends less time on D than offense. Unfortunately, the Bengals make up for it by giving up yardage on the ground, surrendering nearly 120 rushing yards a game. Also, Cinci is fifth-worst in giving up first downs with a percentage of 24.3 in that category (the Jets are first at 15.8 percent). The Bengals are a run-of-the-mill pass defense and will face a red-hot quarterback-receiver tandem in Mark Sanchez, Braylon Edwards and Santonio Holmes... Tuesday, Sanchez called Cincy's defense "active," adding that they "do a great job of getting pressure on the quarterback." Sanchez proved Sunday that pressure doesn't really mater, as he consistently danced out of tackles due to poor protection because of injuries on the offensive line.

***Key to Cincy's defense – Contain the big play. The Jets are a grind ‘em out team but have made a living on big plays this season. They have had 35 plays go for 20-plus yards and nine gain 40-plus. Those plays have been the difference in most of New York's wins, especially when you look at Holmes' big game-changing catches late in the last three games.

Nick picking: The Jets always make it interesting, but I think they keep winning. New York, 24-17. - Follow Nick St. Denis, author of www.OffTheLineFootball.com, at Twitter.com/NickStDenis


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