After a big emotional win over the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Cincinnati Bengals will host Trevor Lawrence and the Jacksonville Jaguars. This will be a game between the two most recent number one overall picks but should be teams in two very different places.
The Jaguars enter this game looking for their first win, and frankly looking to just show improvement and signs of life. They have yet to lose by single digits and that would seem to be the first step. Trevor Lawrence has shown flashes of good quarterback play, but as a team, they have struggled to put a promising product on the football field.
The Bengals meanwhile are coming off an impressive win. Sure, the Steelers are likely not a good team this year and are going to drop plenty of games, but for Cincinnati to be able to go into Pittsburgh and get a win is huge.
With hope about potentially competing for a playoff spot this year, the Bengals will need to win games against teams it should, and that includes the Jaguars.
Here are the top three things I will be watching Thursday in Cincinnati.
Welcome back, Coach.
Urban Meyer is returning to coach in the great state of Ohio. Rather than gearing up in Scarlet and Grey, however, he will be leading the visitors into the state. This will be a great chance for fans to show the former Buckeye coach some love, and then chase him out of the building.
I’m not buying into the narrative that Joe Burrow is going to play lights out just to show his former coach that he made the wrong decision not selecting him as the starter. Rather, Burrow will play lights out because the Jaguars are a bad football team and the Bengals are turning into a good team.
I can see Joe Mixon being able to take this game over, which will open up plenty of big plays downfield for Burrow. This will be the weakest defense the Bengals have faced to date, and I am expecting Burrow and company to absolutely let loose and run all over Jacksonville.
So, will Meyer have some thoughts about why he didn’t select Burrow? Probably not, since he will have immediate worries about why his team just gave up so many points to the Cincinnati Bengals. But even so, it will be fun to see Urban coaching in Ohio again.