Jacksonville Jaguars vs Cincinnati Bengals: Key matchup, X-factor, and prediction

JACKSONVILLE, FL - AUGUST 28: Blake Bortles /

The Jacksonville Jaguars have everything to play for as the calendar turns to November. The next hurdle to the race for the AFC South crown is the Cincinnati Bengals.

The Jacksonville Jaguars are where they want to be in the second half of the season, right in the heart of the playoff race. With a manageable schedule, and beginning to get healthy at the right time, the Jaguars are poised to stockpile wins.

On Sunday, the Jaguars take on the Cincinnati Bengals in a game Jacksonville has designated as a #ForeverTeal game. The team will wear teal jerseys for just the second time since updating to the current uniform design in 2013.

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The Bengals are 3-4, and coming off of a lackluster performance against a struggling Colts team last week. The Jaguars’ last game was also against Indianapolis two weeks ago, an exceedingly better performance in a 27-0 shutout win.

A preview of the the week nine game in Jacksonville:

Key Matchup:

Jalen Ramsey vs. A.J. Green

This is as good as it gets in terms of a wide receiver/cornerback battle, and will be a fun war within the game to keep an eye on.

Bengals receiver A.J. Green has been a top receiver in the league since he entered in 2011. Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey is making his presence nationally known in just his second season.

These two guys will be going head-to-head all day as Green is an intricate part of the Bengals offense, and Andy Dalton‘s go-to guy. Jalen Ramsey is not one to shy away from a challenge, and will be chomping at the bit at the chance to put the clamps on Green on Sunday.

With just how much the Bengals rely on Green to move the offense, he will most likely find a catch or two on Sunday. But Ramsey has proven his ability to shut down the best in the league, and will make a big day for Green a grueling task for Cincinnati.

A matchup of two of the best in the league at their positions, Jalen Ramsey vs. A.J. Green will be an exciting and pivotal battle on Sunday.


DT Marcell Dareus

The X-factor in Sunday’s matchup with the Bengals is the newest member of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Jacksonville traded with the Buffalo Bills for Marcell Dareus last Friday, showing the organization is fully in win now mode. Dareus is making his Jaguars debut against Cincinnati, and the defensive tackle is primed to make his presence felt right out of the gate.

Dareus will get pressure on Andy Dalton, but his impact is going to be significantly made shutting down the running game. If there has been a weak link to the Jaguars defense, it has been with stopping the run. Dareus is going to prove his worth the rest of the season plugging up running lanes, and it begins on Sunday.

The Jaguars suffocate the rushing attack for the Cincinnati Bengals in week nine, and Marcell Dareus is a big reason why.


This is exactly the kind of game the Jaguars can’t lose if they want to be taken seriously. A game at home against a sub-par opponent, Jacksonville has no business letting this one get away from them, and they won’t.

The defense will continue to do what they have done all season on Sunday, and disrupt the Bengals offense. At least two Jaguars record a sack on Sunday, and the secondary gets an interception off of Andy Dalton.

On the offensive side, Blake Bortles and company have a productive day against the Cincinnati defense. Bortles throws a touchdown pass and the offense avoids turning the ball over, as the Jacksonville Jaguars secure the first true home win of the season and move to 5-3.

Jaguars-24 Bengals-13