3 underwhelming stats from Bengals Week 13 win vs. Jaguars

  • Offensive turnovers
  • Explosive plays still troubling defense
  • Tight ends keep eating vs. Bengals

Cincinnati Bengals v Jacksonville Jaguars
Cincinnati Bengals v Jacksonville Jaguars / Mike Carlson/GettyImages
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The Cincinnati Bengals got an upset victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Monday Night Football. They accomplished this by not allowing critical statistics that have worked against them for most of the season to derail them.

The running game was effective, and the team did not give up on it, even after trailing during the game. Jake Browning was only sacked twice in the game. The team converted 57% of their third-down attempts, well above the league average of 39.4%.

Nevertheless, a couple of disappointing stats came with the win against Jacksonville. Some we have become accustomed to talking about.

1 turnover

One turnover does not necessarily spell disaster in a game. However, the reason for the turnover had the possibility of becoming devastating for the outcome of the game and the team's morale.

Late in the third quarter, with a chance to drive the field for a potential lead, the Bengals’ play callers got overconfident with an ill-advised call. Instead of passing the ball with Jake Browning, who was having a phenomenal night, or running with Joe Mixon or Chase Brown, Zac Taylor went with a double-pass that resulted in receiver Tyler Boyd throwing an interception.

Unlike the Bengals, who have had their fair share of issues scoring points off turnovers, Jacksonville converted the imprudent turnover into a touchdown. It also cost the Bengals a chance to take the lead on that drive.

However, we can all laugh about it now because it did not cost the Bengals the game. A couple of clutch catches down the stretch from Boyd helped turn that botched play into a distant yet amusing memory.

9 explosive plays allowed

The first offensive play was big for the Jaguars. On their first snap of the game, Trevor Lawrence completed a 26-yard pass to Christian Kirk.

On the next play, Calvin Ridley ran a reverse for an 11-yard gain. As we have noted before, that is a play that opposing offenses will continue to deploy as long as Cincinnati’s defense can consistently stop it. Two consecutive plays to begin the game highlight problems that have plagued the defense all year.

The Jaguars were just getting started with their explosive plays. On their third possession of the game, they added three more explosive plays. Travis Etienne had an 11-yard run, Calvin Ridley added a reception of 22 yards, and the drive culminated with a 22-yard touchdown pass to Evan Engram.

Cincinnati's defense gave up nine explosive plays to Jacksonville's offense, surpassing the seven they surrendered in the two previous games and this does not count the 19-yard pass to Etienne on the final drive of regulation for the Jaguars.

9-for-82

Like the receiver run and reverse, opposing offenses will continue to target their tight ends in the passing attack. This played out on Monday night against Jacksonville.

Cincinnati lost track of another tight end running free in their secondary against the Jaguars. Tight end Evan Engram was the most targeted receiver for the Jaguars. He finished the evening with nine receptions on nine targets for 82 yards and one touchdown.

Last week, the Steelers’ Pat Freiermuth got loose for nine catches for 120 yards. George Kittle and Dalton Kincaid are other tight ends who found success against Cincinnati’s defense. Engram is just the latest.

This could be a harbinger of things yet to come. The Bengals defense must match up against excellent tight ends down the stretch. T.J. Hockenson, Pat Freiermuth, Travis Kelce, and David Njoku are among the players at the position who have a chance to put up big numbers against a Bengals defense that has suddenly found covering tight ends a difficult proposition.

Hopefully, if one or more of the opposing tight ends has a good game against the Bengals, it will not affect the Bengals in the win-loss column.

Despite these disappointing stats that could have cost them the game, the Bengals played well in a hostile environment in Jacksonville. Their resiliency and excellent play allowed them to come away with a hard-earned and much-needed victory.

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