Jacksonville Jaguars at Cincinnati Bengals (-13.5, 45 o/u)
The Jacksonville Jaguars will visit Cincinnati on Sunday to take on the AFC North-leading Bengals (1:00 p.m. Eastern on CBS).
On paper, this looks like a favorable matchup for the 4-2-1 Bengals, as Jacksonville is 1-7 and winless on the road this year. But the Jaguars will put up a fight.
For Jacksonville to stay in this game, the team will have to limit its turnovers. The Jaguars have given the ball up 18 times this season, tied for most in the league. “We have to come back and truly attack these things because we can’t continue in this fashion,” Jaguars coach Gus Bradley said.
The emergence of running back Denard Robinson should take some of the pressure of rookie QB Blake Bortles and the passing game. Bortles has accounted for 13 of the Jags’ turnovers.
“I’m not going to say I’m mad at myself ’cause that’s not really going to help anything,” Bortles said. “Nobody cares, and it’s not going to help me do anything. You’ve just got to learn from it. You’ve got to go figure it out, start watching film and find out what you can do to try to be better.”
As for the Bengals, a win over division rival Baltimore last weekend helped right the ship; the black and orange were on a three-game winless streak after taking three in a row to open the year. The injuries woes continue for the Bengals. They will be without starting tailback Giovani Bernard (hip/collarbone), but should have Pro Bowl receiver A.J. Green back (toe).
Mohamed Sanu has been the go-to receiver with Green sidelined. But Sanu is excited to have Green back in the lineup, as defenses will have to focus on both talented receivers. “Now it’s going to be that they’re going to have to play us straight-up,” Sanu said. “They can’t double-cover any one of us. They’re going to have to play man-to-man. That’s what we want.”
Cincinnati is a heavy 13.5-point favorite for Sunday’s game. The over/under is at 45.
(Photo credit: Melissa Batson (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons. Photo has been cropped from its original.)