If this game were during the opening week of the season the spread would likely be at least 14 points. The improved play of the Jets has lead to the 6 point spread that we have heading into Sunday. The Jets are coming off a convincing win over the Patriots where they found out that they may have a running back capable of carrying the load and they have even more reason to believe that quarterback Geno Smith has the ability to lead a team to a Superbowl. The Bengals headed into this season with Superbowl aspirations and while they haven’t been dominant, they have put themselves in a position to go on a run.
The Bengals had a tough matchup vs. the Lions in week 7 and it was the best game of the weekend. The Bengals had to matchup with wide receiver Calvin Johnson who had his most dominant performance thus far this season with 9 catches for 152 yards and 2 touchdowns. They were however able to clamp down on the run as they held Reggie Bush to 50 yards on 20 carries. Quarterback Andy Dalton had his best game of the season going 24/34 for 372 yards and three touchdowns. He also managed to complete passes to seven different receivers. Star wide receiver A. J Green was his usual monster self with 6 catches for 155 yards and a touchdown. The offense was able to move the ball all game long and the defense displayed a dominant front 4 that was able to disrupt the Lions offense at the line of scrimmage. The Bengals also managed to play a turnover free game, which will be crucial against a Jets team that is very capable of creating turnovers.
The Jets continue to be the surprise team in the NFL. As Coach Rex Ryan is often quick to point out, they were picked number 32 amongst 32 NFL teams in an ESPN preseason poll. However the defense led by a dominating front 4 staring Mo Wilkerson has allowed the team to mix up their blitz packages and their coverage’s. It has allowed the defensive mind of head coach Rex Ryan to work his magic and confuse the opposition. The Jets offense was supposed to be a big weakness and while it is still a work in progress it appears that they have found a quarterback and running back combination that can carry the team. Chris Ivory carried the ball 34 times for over 100 yards in a vintage Rex Ryan “ground and pound” attack. Rookie quarterback Geno Smith displayed the ability to come back from a bad 1st half interception that was taken back for a touchdown and have a strong overall game. His day included a touchdown run in which he juked two would be defenders before getting into the end zone. His poise and accuracy are far beyond his years and they give Jet fans reasons to think they have a championship caliber quarterback.
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