Can the Jacksonville Jaguars get back on the winning side of football against the Cincinnati Bengals this weekend?
Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone knows about long losing streaks. His team suffered through seven straight losses in the middle of last season, which led to questions about his tenure as the front many of this football team.
Cincinnati Bengals first-year head coach Zac Taylor is going through growing pains of his own as his team has lost their first six games and faces a Jaguars team that has dropped their last two ballgames. Taylor is hoping to weather the storm, but he has been scrutinized for his inability to get the team in the win column.
"As Steve Rivera of Stripe Hype wrote, “So, is it too early for Cincinnati Bengals head coach Zac Taylor to be on the hot seat? No way. His first job as an NFL head coach has him not just 0-6, but an uninspiring 0-6. If they manage to lose to a 2-4 Jacksonville Jaguars team with a rookie quarterback at the helm in Gardner Minshew, expect the long knives to be out.”"
The staff here at Black and Teal had a chance to talk with Dylan Streibig, one of the site experts at Stripe Hype, FanSided.com’s site for everything you want to know about the Bengals this past week. Here is what he had to say about the upcoming game between Jacksonville and Cincinnati.
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What is your initial impression of head coach Zac Taylor so far? Do you think he has done a fair job so far given the Bengals’ record? Frankly, it isn’t good. It is too early to say the Bengals made a bad hire. [Zac] Taylor’s team just has inferior players to most opponents. We knew that would be the case.
Still, Taylor has struggled with offensive play calling. On a rare occasion, something has worked, he hasn’t stuck with it. For example, Joe Mixon had eight carries for 60 yards on the opening drive two weeks ago against Arizona, then got only 11 carries the rest of the game.
The Bengals have the worst rushing attack in the NFL. How does this team move the ball on the ground against the Jaguars front seven? Well, first they have to try. Andy Dalton has thrown 36 or more passes in every game this year. That is a recipe for disaster. Also, despite being winless, Cincinnati has only been blown out twice.
So, there is little reason to forget the run the way they have. The offensive line is among the worst in the NFL for the Bengals, but it wasn’t much better last year, Mixon still led the AFC in rushing.
Since the Bengals have the 12th best passing game in the NFL, how should they approach the Jaguars secondary sans Jalen Ramsey? That is a tough one. The Bengals will be without A.J. Green and John Ross. However, establishing and sticking with a solid run game may open up some deep chances off play action. Tyler Boyd and second year Auden Tate are the top receiving options right now.
Who needs to have a huge game this week for the Bengals to win their first game of the season? No quarterback likes pressure, especially a rookie one. If defensive linemen like Geno Atkins and Sam Hubbard can harass Gardner Minshew consistently and get him on the ground occasionally, Cincinnati will have a chance to win.
What intrigues you about Gardner Minshew and the Jaguars passing game? I watched every snap of Minshew against Denver. He has the “it” factor. His ability to scramble and keep plays alive is what stood out to me. How the Bengals handle that will be a key to the game.
Minshew has done a nice job keeping this franchise at least somewhat viable with Nick Foles out despite not having household names at wide receiver.
Who wins and why? Leonard Fournette has had a nice little resurgence over the last three weeks and I can’t get past the Bengals last ranked rush defense. Jacksonville wins 21-17.