There are plenty of storylines to follow this week as the Jaguars get set to face the Bengals on the road.
Standing at 2-4, the Jacksonville Jaguars are looking for a bounce-back win after dropping two straight. This week the team travels to Cincinnati to take on the 0-6 Bengals.
Fans of the Black and Teal should watch these storylines unfold during the game.
Gardner Minshew Bounce Back Game – Minshew Mania came to a halt last week against the New Orleans Saints. Gardner Minshew II went 14-29 for 163 yards and one interception.
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The Bengals rank in the middle at defending the pass, allowing 241.5 yards per game. Without their best defenders, Minshew will get the opportunity to have a big game.
Josh Oliver makes NFL Debut – After being selected in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft, rookie tight end Josh Oliver will make his NFL debut. Oliver went down during training camp with a hamstring injury.
Oliver ranked third in college football last season with 56 catches at San Jose State University, and will now begin his career with the Jaguars as their hopeful answer at tight end.
With the season-ending injury to James O’Shaughnessy, Oliver brings a much-needed boost to the tight end room. Rookie tight ends have struggled in the NFL, so don’t expect Oliver to have a monster game.
It will be interesting to see how offensive coordinator John DeFilippo tailors part of the offensive game plan around Oliver, and whether the team will be cautious with him.
Leonard Fournette Emergence Continues – Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette has rushed for 405 yards in the last three games, along with 95 receiving yards. This week’s matchup bodes well for Fournette.
The Bengals are giving up and NFL-worst 184.5 rushing yards per game.
While the secondary is banged up for the Bengals, expect for the Jaguars to run Fournette early and often, in an effort to control the clock and wear out the defense.
No Ramsey, No Problem – Most attention around Jacksonville at this point in time is directed toward former cornerback Jalen Ramsey and his troubled tenure with the team. Now that he’s gone, Jacksonville’s defense has the opportunity to show the league they don’t need him.
Cincinnati is one of the lowest-scoring teams in the NFL, averaging 16.2 points per game, and rushing for an NFL-worst 56.5 yards per game.
The Bengals have also given up 22 sacks, 27th most in the league.
Expect a big game from the Jaguars defense.
Time to Move On – With the Jalen Ramsey drama behind the team, there’s no better way to have fans and the media move on quicker than by earning a road win.
With quarterback Nick Foles returning soon, Jacksonville must win as many games as possible to remain in contention for the division or a wild card spot.
A team with something to prove against one of the most injured teams — not to mention a 0-6 team — should prove strong in the final box score.