It can’t get any worse than last week for the Jets, right?
New York will look to come back from a relentless defeat in New England and face an even better team on Sunday.
The Bengals are in first place in their division with an explosive offensive rooted in dangerous playmakers. Their defense is also insidiously good, limiting opponents to just 18.3 points per game. match (fifth-lowest grade in the league).
On the other hand, the Jets are lagging behind in the Sunday afternoon showdown. Rookie quarterback Zach Wilson is put on the sidelines with his knee injury, top-wide Corey Davis is doubtful with a hip injury, linebacker CJ Mosley is doubtful again with a hamstring injury and the list goes on.
So can backup Mike White keep the Jets’ offensive in this game while starting his first career? Does New York’s defense have what it takes to keep the lid on Cincinnati’s air strikes?
Here’s this week’s prediction of how the Jets will perform as Gang Green looks to avoid a 1-6 start to the season.
Max Goodman’s prediction: Jets 16, Bengals 34
When the Jets upset the Titans earlier in the season, Tennessee lacked their two best wide receivers, forced to lean heavily on their running game.
In that competition, New York surprised everyone with a huge comeback in the second half, making up for yet another slow start while taking advantage of Tennessee’s biggest blunder in overtime.
This is going to sound very similar my prediction from last week, but if you’ve seen this Jets team all season, I think you’ll agree. Although Wilson, Davis and others were healthy this week, it would have been hard to imagine this club having to start fast, stick with a better opponent and find a way to win.
That’s why this match will be another ugly loss for New York. Not to the same extent as last week – it was an anomaly – but I expect Joe Burrow, Ja’Marr Chase and the Bengals’ high-octane attack to put plenty of points on the board early and often.
As much as the Jets have stuck to this defense all season long, this is a Bengals team that put 41 points on the Baltimore Ravens last week. Unless the defensive line explodes (as they did in that victory over the Titans), Burrow will have his will with New York’s secondary.
I think we’ll see Burrow throw 350 yards through the air with Chase and either Tyler Boyd or Tee Higgins overshadowing the 100-yard mark. Also keep an eye on Joe Mixon out of the backfield. With such an emphasis on featuring this talented trio of wideouts, Mixon is a threat to break through for some great in-game games and also get a few wins on the ground.
New York’s coaching staff has made it clear that they have confidence that White will enter the game this week. And lo and behold, backup was not terrible when he came in for an injured Wilson last week against the Patriots. But it’s pretty simple.
The Jets are one of the worst attacks in the league, have yet to score a point in the first quarter through six games this season and are missing their best wide receiver. The Bengals boast one of the better defensive units in the game. Expect a couple of interceptions from White as he tries his best to keep his team in the game and push the football down the field.
I will, however, give the Jets an interception in defense. As Burrow has a tendency to eavesdrop this season (he has thrown eight this year into entering the game on Sunday), it feels like this is New York’s best chance yet to get out of schneid with their first pick in 2021.
With a short week to go after this match – New York will play Thursday night football next week – head coach Robert Saleh will have to rally troops and make sure this losing streak does not continue to grow. But they are definitely heading in that direction …
Related reading to get ready for the Jets-Bengals:
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