Bengals Q&A:’s Daniel Lago


Oct 26, 2014; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals fans holds a sign in the stands during the fourth quarter against the Baltimore Ravens at Paul Brown Stadium. Bengals defeated the Ravens 27-24. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Bengals will face off against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday afternoon at Paul Brown Stadium. We were fortunate to have the opportunity to ask Black and Teal’s editor Daniel Lago his thoughts on the matchup. Here is what he had to say:

Stripe Hype: The Jacksonville Jaguars have been struggling to find wins, but their last win came against this division 2 weeks ago when the Jaguars faced the Browns. Can Jacksonville find a way to steal two from the AFC North? Why or Why Not?

Daniel Lago: The Jacksonville Jaguars were manhandled in their first 4 games, but they’ve been significantly more competitive in the last 4. Their win against Cleveland was driven by a strong performance on defense, and they’ve been one of the best teams in the league on that side of the ball for the last 3 or 4 weeks. If Blake Bortles can limit his mistakes and make this offense more efficient, then maybe they can steal another win from the AFC North.

SH: The Jaguars haven’t looked like they have been dominated on the scoreboard by many teams this year, what has the defense done to keep themselves in games?

DL: The Jaguars have quietly put together one of the best pass rushing units in the NFL, and they’ve done it without a premier edge rusher. Free agent signing Chris Clemons has been a disappointment, but the Jaguars have managed to get terrific interior pressure from guys like Sen’Derrick Marks and Ryan Davis. The secondary has also stopped giving up several big plays every game since they released much maligned safety Winston Guy.

SH: Which players are keys to this Jacksonville Jaguars team and the success that they might have on Sunday against the Bengals?

DL: It’s boring to pick the quarterback, but this team really is only going to go as far as Bortles takes them. The defense has played winning football in the last 4 weeks, but the offense just hasn’t been able to produce at the same level. Bortles doesn’t need to put up 300+ yards and 4 touchdowns, he just needs to stop making costly mistakes that set the team back. Besides Bortles, the Jaguars would greatly benefit from Denard Robinson continuing his terrific running. He could potentially have his 3 straight game with over 100 yards rushing on Sunday.

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SH: Outside of Andy Dalton and AJ Green, who will be the key guys on the Jaguars scouting report that they are preparing to face on Sunday?

DL: The biggest challenge facing the Jaguars on Sunday is a very talented Bengals secondary that has more interceptions than touchdowns allowed. Blake Bortles has had his struggles with turnovers, and this Bengals secondary is full of first round picks ready to make a quarterback pay for his poor decisions. The Jaguars need to give Bortles the time to sit in the pocket and scan the field if they want to limit the impact the cornerbacks and safeties have.

SH: Predictions?

DL: I picked the Jaguars to win in my column at Black and Teal, but I’m an eternal optimist. The Jaguars really only have a chance in this game if Bortles plays better than he has in the last 2 weeks. I don’t think he’ll have a 3rd straight awful game, so I’ll say the Jaguars eke out the win and upset the Bengals 23-20.

Thank You to Daniel Lago of for the look into this weeks matchup. We can’t wait to see what is building to be a good game on Sunday afternoon.