Skip to main content

How the Jets Are Preparing to Contain Bengals' 'Explosive' Offense

New York has to deal with Joe Burrow, Ja'Marr Chase, Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd on Sunday against the Bengals, a tough task for any defense.
  • Author:
  • Publish date:

The Cincinnati Bengals enter play on Sunday with an 0-2 record, in the middle of the pack on offense so far this season.

That doesn't mean head coach Robert Saleh and defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich are taking this matchup lightly.

They're preparing to face a "scary" and "explosive" unit in Week 3, a group that can erupt and change the course of a game with just one play.

"They just have so many weapons," Ulbrich told reporters earlier this week. "They utilize them in such unique ways and they have a quarterback that can facilitate it all, so it’s a great challenge from that standpoint. It is an explosive offense that they can sputter, sputter, sputter and all of a sudden, 75-yard gain. They can sputter, sputter and 80-yard gain. They have that type of explosiveness to them, they have the athletes, they have speed, they've got the playmakers, so we absolutely have to be on our best version of ourselves come Sunday."

Cincinnati is led by quarterback Joe Burrow, the former No. 1 overall pick that's thrown for 537 passing yards so far this season with three touchdowns and four interceptions. 

Speaking about Burrow, Saleh made it clear that he respects his game. The signal-caller is one of those quarterbacks that puts his body on the line for his teammates, a "relentless" and "superstar" talent, the head coach said.

It also helps that he's surrounded by one of the most talented wide receiver rooms in the league.

Scroll to Continue

RECOMMENDED ARTICLES

Ja'Marr Chase led the way a year ago with 1,455 receiving yards and 13 scores on 81 catches. He's the main focus for any secondary, but you can't forget about Tee Higgins or Tyler Boyd either. 

"It’s that rare team that has two true ones, with one of those ones being maybe the best, if not top three receiver in this league," Ulbrich added. "We’ve got to have schematic answers. We have to create grey for Burrow. We can’t make the picture clean all the time, which obviously there is a huge component of that too to create hitches and get some pass rushes on him. I think it’s me trying to do a good job as far as clouding the picture for the quarterback and also clouding the picture for the receivers."

Easier said than done, of course.

Ulbrich explained that setting the edge up front is at the top of this defense's to-do list as well. That, along with tackling, will give this team a chance to keep a lid on Burrow's playmakers. Since it's impossible to stop them, wrapping them up, sending 11 hats to the ball and limiting the big plays is their best shot. 

"They look every bit as good as [they did last year]," Saleh said after watching Cincinnati's body of work so far in 2022 on film. "Like I’ve said, they’ve played a Pittsburgh team and turned the ball over five times and still had a chance to win it. They lost on a last second field goal to Dallas. They’re every bit as good. They’ve just gotten off to two unlucky starts and they’re 0-2, but they’re every bit the AFC Champions that we saw a year ago."

MORE:

Follow Max Goodman on Twitter (@MaxTGoodman), be sure to bookmark Jets Country and check back daily for news, analysis and more.