This week, the New York Jets will look to continue their three-game winning streak at the Cincinnati Bengals. On paper, this seems like a very winnable game for the Jets.
After all, the Jets (4-7) are a hot team right now. And the Bengals (0-11) are, well, the Bengals.
‘Three Things to Watch from the Jets in Week 13’
Dalton is Back - This week, Dalton was named the starter for the Bengals, taking over for rookie quarterback Ryan Finley who started their last three games. The veteran Dalton, quite possibly in his last year in Cincinnati, certainly gives the Bengals a steady and accomplished hand under center.
All-time, Dalton is 2-0 against the Jets.
The last time the Jets played the Bengals was in 2016 in the season opener. Dalton was 23-for-30 for 366 yards for a touchdown and an interception. Dalton was sacked a staggering seven times in that game but still lead Cincinnati to a 23-22 win.
Then in Week 8 of the 2013 season, Dalton threw for 325 yards and five touchdowns in a 49-9 win over the Jets.
The Bengals Defense - The Bengals may be last in total defense but they are a good, aggressive unit that is often handicapped by their offense and less than advantageous field position.
The problem is that while they create pressure, they aren’t finishing those plays. The Bengals are second-worst in the league in sacks. In their last two games, both tight losses, the defense has stepped up and improved, a positive trend for the hapless team.
The Jets offense line has been relatively solid in recent weeks, not only protecting quarterback Sam Darnold but also getting the running attack to look something respectable. If the Jets can give Darnold time in the pocket, they have a good chance to extend their win streak.
Looking Past the Bungles – It could be easy for the Jets to look past the Bengals. This is a pretty bad offense and defense they are facing and the Jets, after all, are coming into the game with three straight wins.
But the Bengals have been competitive in recent weeks, losing by less than a touchdown in each of their last two games. Both those opponents, coincidentally, currently have winning records.
Of their 11 losses this year, six have come by seven or fewer points. This isn’t a terrible team. Just a team with a terrible record that can compete and has improved in recent weeks.
Bringing Dalton back should make them competitive this week.