The Cincinnati Bengals travel to New York this Sunday to face the tricky Jets team. Last year was not a pleasant surprise, will it be the same this week?
We spoke with MacGregor Wells of Gang Green Nation to get a sense of the atmosphere before kickoff on Sunday.
1.) Alternating current: What is your take on Joe Flacco taking over the reins? He had a great win last week. Zach Wilson has many tools, but many questions. What’s next for Flacco and Wilson this week?
MW: I think Joe Flacco at this point in his career is a competent backup quarterback at best. His arm isn’t what it used to be, as immobile as an NFL quarterback. Flacco can be a fort kind of guy and he sometimes gives more than that, but the days of him making a difference on the field are long gone. As long as you protect Flaco, you’ll be fine. Putting pressure on him prevents Flacco from getting his job done.
As for Zach Wilson, he was a very rough rookie last year. After being selected by the Jets with the second overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, Wilson looked like perhaps the worst starting quarterback in the NFL for much of last year. He didn’t seem to read the defense well, nor was he good at identifying the right guys to make progress quickly and throw in a timely fashion. . In short, it was a tough year for him at the end of the season with some improvement in 4-5 games.
Wilson has a quick release, very strong arms and great mobility. All his physical tools are there. It’s the mental aspect of the game that has bothered him so far. He’s set to return to the Jets’ starting lineup soon, possibly against the Pittsburgh Steelers next week.
Once he’s 100% healthy and has a week of practice, Wilson should be back in the starting position. At that point, the rest of the Jets’ season will be spent developing Zach Wilson and evaluating whether the Jets should consider him a future quarterback or consider drafting or trading next year’s quarterback. increase.
2.) Alternating current: Tell us about the Jets defense. Cincinnati The Bengals have offensive his line/protection issues and it will be interesting to hear what New York is doing well up front, especially Carl his Lawson performance.
MW: On paper, the Jets should have a pretty effective pass rush. They have spent considerable resources building a deep defensive line. The Jets’ defensive scheme is built around breaking in, shooting gaps, and chasing passers.
On the inside, Quinen-Williams and John Franklin-Myers are both well-above-average young defensive linemen who can put pressure on passers. Karl Lawson, as Bengals fans know, is a plus-edge rusher. In theory, this Jets defensive line should be able to put a lot of pressure on opposing quarterbacks, but so far, it hasn’t.
The most likely reason the Jets haven’t had a pass rush so far is that they held a 22-second combined lead over the first two games. When you are always playing from behind, your opponent has the luxury of running the ball more.
If the Jets can play with a little more lead, they can start putting more pressure on the quarterback. But for now, it’s more theory than fact.
3.) AC: Cincinnati’s once-explosive offense has struggled to find itself so far this year. What, if any, areas of weakness do the Jets defense have?
I think the biggest areas of vulnerability on the Jets defense are linebackers in safety and coverage. Jordan Whitehead and LaMarcus Joyner are in a safe spot with below average pass coverage.
They also had some communication issues in the back end which resulted in a big play for the opposition. With safeties and linebackers vulnerable to passing, the Bengals should be able to attack the Jets with tight ends and backs in the passing game.
Of course, the Bengals also have one of the best wide receiver trios in the game, so the Jets’ cornerback is arguably the strongest unit on defense, but excluding the Bengals having great success with Chase and Higgins. I can not do it. and Boyd. Given all of this, I think the Jets need to put a lot of pressure on Joe Burrow if they have any prospect of success on defense.
Four.) Alternating current: A lot has been done on the Bengals’ offensive line, but what did New York’s front look like this year?
The Jets’ offensive line has been adequate at best so far this year. They were dominated by the Baltimore Ravens’ pass rush in the season opener before doing a better job against the Cleveland Browns last week.
On paper, the Jets’ offensive line isn’t exactly elite, but it should be an above-average unit. but struggled with early pass protection.
At guard, the Jets signed Pro Bowl guard Laken Tomlinson in the offseason and drafted Alija Vera Tucker in the first round of 2021. I had a hard time.
Center Conor McGovern is solid and steady for the most part. At right tackle, the Jets were slated to start former first-round pick Mekhi Becton this year, but he has been sidelined with a knee injury.
To replace Becton, the Jets signed Pro Bowl tackle Duane Brown, who is also currently sidelined with injury and has no timetable for his return. As a result, his 2022 fourth-round pick for the Jets, Max Mitchell, started serving at right tackle, a predictably difficult result.
Mitchell wasn’t exactly ferocious, but I think he’s been, and probably will be, vulnerable territory all year round for the Jets’ offensive line. Work in progress.
5.) AC: The Jets have a talented pass catcher and have actually invested a lot in the tight end position as well. Is it the Garrett Wilson/Corey Davis/Elijah Moore/Denzel Mims show or is Tyler Conklin/CJ Uzomer (Is he playing this week?)/Jeremy Ruckert the main target this week? ?
Uzoma is unlikely to play on Sunday. He has been out since the season opener. Tyler Conklin is a player the Jets raved about throughout the preseason, but so far he’s had minimal impact, failing twice already.
Ruckert has historically been an afterthought. The Jets’ passing game so far has been all about wide receivers.Garrett Wilson, teenth The Jets’ overall pick in the 2022 draft came earlier than expected and already looks like the Jets’ best receiver, Corey Davis is solid.
Elijah Moore got off to a slow start, but we expect him to be a great weapon throughout the season.
This is the most talented group of wide receivers the Jets have had in years, and Jets fans are excited to see them grow. We don’t know, but wide receivers are expected to continue to do most of the damage in the Jets’ passing game against the Bengals this week.
6.) AC: If you were a betting man, which team would you pick to win this game?
I really want to pick the Jets, but that’s my honest opinion. In my mind, the defending AFC champion Bengals are a better, more talented team with better quarterbacks. That’s usually the recipe for success in the NFL.
If the Jets can put a lot of pressure on Joe Burrow, they could probably pull off an upset here, but I don’t think that’s the way to bet. But to finally win against a Jets team that is not yet ready to compete with the top teams in the NFL.
Thanks to MacGregor Wells of Gang Green Nation of SB Nation. Check out our 5 questions with them too!