These are two teams heading in different directions.
The Jets (1-1) will host the Cincinnati Bengals (0-2) Sunday afternoon, Sept. 25, at MetLife. New York is coming off a historic comeback in Cleveland last weekend in which it became the first team in league history to rally from a 13-point deficit with two minutes or less left in the game. Joe Flacco, who became the target of fans calling for his ouster during the week, rallied the Jets with two passing touchdowns, and he threw for 300 or more yards for the second consecutive week.
The Bengals (0-2) dropped their second consecutive game, losing to Dallas, 20-17. The defending AFC champions opened the season with a hard-fought, 23-20 overtime loss to Pittsburgh. Cincinnati has been at least a seven-point favorite in its first two contests. One of the main issues plaguing the Bengals has been the protection of the offensive line, which has allowed 13 sacks of quarterback Joe Burrow.
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Monday Night Magic: NY Giants vs. Dallas Cowboys betting odds and prediction
N.Y. Jets vs. Cincinnati Bengals Betting Odds
Despite its 0-2 record, Cincinnati opened as a 5-point favorite for Sunday’s game. That point spread has since inched up to -6 at most sportsbooks.
Jets’ Youth Making its Mark
In just his second game, rookie wide receiver Garrett Wilson had 102 yards receiving and two touchdown receptions, including the winning one with 22 seconds left in the game. Wilson became one of two players this season to record a winning touchdown in the last 30 seconds.
He leads all rookies in targets (22) and is tied for second in receiving yards (154) and touchdowns (2). Wilson’s mark of eight single-game receptions is tied for the league-high, while his 102 yards are the most among any rookies in a game this season.
Fellow rookie Breece Hall had a breakthrough game against Cleveland as he had 73 yards on 13 carries, one a 23-yard burst. Hall also became the first Jets’ rookie running back to catch a pass for a touchdown in more than 20 years. He is establishing himself as a force out of the backfield with 13 receptions for 77 yards.
On the other side of the ball, first-round pick edge rusher Jermaine Johnson has four tackles and half a sack.
A Closer Look at Each Team
Despite his immobility, Flacco ranks among the top 10 in passing yards (sixth, 622), completions (first, 63), and touchdowns (eighth, five).
Second-year running back Michael Carter leads the team with 83 yards rushing on 17 carries. Carter also has been a valuable weapon out of the backfield with 12 receptions — tied with Wilson — for 67 yards. The Jets have had 698 snaps taken by first- and second-year players this season, accounting for 41% of the overall total.
The Jets’ receiving corps has been balanced, led by Wilson’s and Carter’s 12 catches. Vet Corey Davis has caught eight balls for 169 yards, and Elijah Moore also has eight grabs for 90 yards. The team has begun to utilize tight ends. Tyler Conklin has caught 10 passes for 156 yards.
New York’s Braxton Berrios continues to show why he is one of the league’s best special teams performers. Through the first two games, Berrios has averaged 15.3 yards in punt returns and 24.6 on kickoff returns.
In the red zone, the Jets have converted 66.7%, tied for 12th. The offensive line has allowed five sacks, tied for 19th.
Cincinnati has been paced by Burrow, who is off to a rough start with four interceptions and three touchdowns to go with his 13 sacks.
Joe Mixon has been picking up steam on the ground, as he has rushed for 139 yards on 46 carries. The Bengals’ biggest threat will come from its receiving unit with deep threat Ja’Marr Chase (15 catches for 125 yards) along with Tee Higgins (12-98), and tight end Hayden Hurst (10-70).
The Bengals rank sixth in third-down conversions (14 of 33), and they are seventh in red zone conversions (50%). Bengals’ kicker Evan McPherson has been an effective weapon with five field goals in two games.
Linebacker CJ Mosley leads the Jets in tackles with 18, but they only have three sacks.
Defensively, they are the league’s 18th-ranked unit, allowing 339.5 yards per contest. They are 14th against the pass (216 yards) and 21st against the rush (123.5 yards). That is a reversal from last year, but the secondary will be tested by Chase, Higgins, and Hurst.
Their third-down defense is 29th (52%) and their red zone defense is tied for 22nd (71.4). The Jets will have to pressure Burrow and contain Mixon to have a successful Sunday.
Bengals’ linebacker Germaine Pratt leads the team with 13 tackles, but the Bengals only have two sacks.
Defensively, they are ranked seventh overall, allowing 302 yards per game. They rank 13th in passing defense (211 yards) and rank 12th in rushing defense (91 yards). Their third-down defense is tied for fourth (28%), and their red zone defense is tied for 25th (75%).
Even though the offense is struggling, the Bengals’ defense has been solid, and the Jets will have a challenge, especially if they can pressure Flacco.
Series History and Injuries
The Jets lead the overall series, 18-10, winning two games in the postseason. Aside from the Jets’ 34-31 win last year when backup quarterback Mike White threw for over 400 yards with three touchdowns, the Bengals have won three of the last four games. in the series
Jets’ injuries: DNP Wednesday — tackle Georg Fant (knee) and defensive lineman John Franklin-Myers (toe); limited practice Wednesday — tight end CJ Uzomah (hamstring), cornerback Jordan Whitehead (calf), and defensive tackle Quinnen Williams (foot)
Bengals’ injuries: DNP Wednesday — linebacker Germaine Pratt (knee), tight end Drew Sample (knee); limited practice Wednesday — tight end Hayden Hunt (groin)
The Jets covered the 6.5-spread last week with their shocking victory. Flacco is the key here and the 37-year-old will need another strong game against a good defense. Burrow is due for a breakout game after a sluggish start, as the Jets’ secondary will be tested. This is another tight one. I like the Jets (+6) with the point spread, but the Bengals slink away: Bengals 24-21.
AP Photo/Ron Schwane