On the other side, with the Browns headed to Arrowhead and Baltimore on a bye week, Sunday’s game against the Jets presents the Cincinnati Bengals with the perfect opportunity to widen the gap in the AFC North.
Moving to the foreground of the matchup this week, this game actually looks a lot closer than some might expect. In fact, the statistics are eerily similar.
Oct 13, 2013; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Wallace Gilberry (95) tackles Buffalo Bills running back C.J. Spiller (28) during the second half at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Bengals beat the Bills 27-24 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports
Per CBS Sports, the strength of both teams looks to be the defense on paper. The Bengals are ranked No. 9 defensively while the Jets are ranked No. 4. Both teams are also statistically better against the run, with the Bengals ranked No. 8 against it, and the Jets being good enough for second in the league.
Offensively, both teams have shown the ability to make big plays. And for both teams, that big play usually comes through the air. Andy Dalton has recently found his stride throwing the ball over the middle of the field, as he has passed for an average of 354 yards over his last two games, including six touchdowns.
While the strength of the Bengals offense has been the passing game, the Jets rely on a downhill running game to control the clock and set up their rookie quarterback. The Bengals will need to be careful not to get caught playing the run too much though, as Geno Smith has the deep threats to hurt a battered Cincinnati secondary.