When the Jets Run the Ball:
The Jets have established a nice running attack (11th 124.3 ypg) with Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell but will be running up against the stout Bengals #8 run defense (97.9 ypg). Powell is the leading rusher (366 yards and 4.1 ypc), but only got 3 of the Jets 52 carries last week, meaning the coaches still see Ivory as their top back.
The wild card in the Jets successful run game is Geno’s Smith ability to run. The Bengals will limit the Jets RBs, but they need to make sure Smith stays in the pocket. I expect the Bengals defense to keep the Jets running game in check.
When the Jets Throw the Ball:
Geno Smith has been better than most thought, and much better than I thought. But, lets’ not get carried away here – his completion percentage is under 60% (58.3%), he has a rating of 74.3, a QBR of 35.8, more INTs (11) than TDs (8), 6 fumbles and is on pace for 39 turnovers (25 INTS, 14 fumbles).
Expect the Bengals to focus on the Jets running game, contain Smith in the pocket, and force Smith to beat them in the air. With Smith’s propensity to turn the ball over, combined with the Jets underwhelming receiving options (Kerley, Hill, Cumberland), I expect this to be a recipe for success.