Saturday, October 26, 2013

Week 8 picks: Jets at Bengals

Publisher Nick St. Denis, associate editor Dan Begnoche and senior contributor Sean Donovan pick the New York Jets' (4-3) AFC showdown with the Cincinnati Bengals (5-2).

Nick's take:
The Jets will have their hands full with Bengals receiver A.J. Green. Gang Green's defensive front will have its chances to get after quarterback Andy Dalton, but cornerback Antonio Cromartie's work on Green will be the difference-maker. If New York doesn't surrender more than one big play for a score, Geno Smith should be able to muster enough points to leave a tough road trip with a victory.
Prediction: Jets 21, Bengals 20

Sean's take:
It won't be fun to be a quarterback in this game, as two of the best defensive lines in football square off, each backed by a talented secondary. The signal-caller that copes with the pressure most effectively by utilizing backs and tight ends in the passing game will have the advantage. Gio Bernard, Jermaine Gresham and Tyler Eifert combine to give the Bengals a talent edge at those positions, and each turn in solid efforts en route to a close, hard-fought Cincinnati victory.
Prediction: Bengals 20, Jets 13

Dan's take:
Despite their 5-2 record, Dalton and the Cincinnati offense has sputtered at times this season, particularly against elite defenses. Gang Green's squad is as strong as it gets but has struggled to force turnovers, as Smith and the Jets' offense has struggled to hold onto the ball. The key here for both teams is going to be on third down and in the red zone, where Cincinnati's offense thrives and New York's defense has sustained success. Expect some hard-nose battles in the trenches from both running games, with a late turnover potentially deciding this one.
Prediction: Jets 22, Bengals 17