Are the Cincinnati Bengals taking a must-win approach in Week 13 against the New York Jets? If tanking had been a plan, it isn’t now, as Andy Dalton steps back under center.
This one isn’t complicated. In fact, if you’re inclined to place a bet on the home team and feel really good about it, this is the game to wager the mortgage on. The 0-11 Cincinnati Bengals enter Week 13 against a 4-7 New York Jets team fresh off of a big win last week against the Raiders.
Quarterback Andy Dalton is also back for Cincinnati. After leading the Bengals to an 0-8 start to begin the 2019 season, head coach Zac Taylor returns to the veteran after a brief three-game appearance by rookie Ryan Finley. Finley, who was ineffective, added another three losses to keep Cincinnati winless.
For the Jets, quarterback Sam Darnold has New York trending up and on a three-game win streak of their own. With signature wins against both the Dallas Cowboys and the Raiders, Cincinnati should be a team to add to that streak.
Not so fast.
First, the Bengals haven’t played terribly on the defensive side of the football. In consecutive weeks, Cincinnati held Oakland to 17 points and Pittsburgh to 16. Even the most cynical of fans would concede better quarterback play likely wins those games.
So is Dalton the difference this week? Overzealous Dalton fans will say yes. But practically speaking, he does. The Jets, despite their win last week, get a Bengals team ready for a victory. They also get a quarterback in Dalton with something to prove.
Jets at the Bengals isn’t complicated. Cincinnati is desperate for a win, and New York is looking to keep the winning streak going.