Jaguars: 3 keys to victory vs Bengals on Thursday Night Football

Trevor Lawrence #16 of the Jacksonville Jaguars (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Trevor Lawrence #16 of the Jacksonville Jaguars (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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Jacksonville Jaguars
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow #9 and RB Joe Mixon (28) (Imagn Images photo pool) /

3. The Jacksonville Jaguars must contain running back Joe Mixon.

The Bengal’s defense presents a tough challenge for the Jaguars’ defense. On one hand, they must stop running back Joe Mixon. Last season, the 2017 second-round pick had no trouble shedding the Jags, toting the rock 25 times for 151 yards and reaching the end zone twice. He’s currently averaging 4.2 yards per carry and is second in the league with 286 rushing yards (Derrick Henry is first).

On the other hand, Jacksonville can’t devote all their attention to stopping Mixon. Joe Burrow is far from an upper-echelon passer right now, but he isn’t a slouch either. The former LSU Tiger has been very accurate this season, completing 70.7 percent of his passing attempts. If the Jags load up the box, the Bengals’ wide receivers could find favorable matchups. Then again, Tee Higgins has been ruled out for the game, so the Jags’ secondary can focus on slowing down rookie sensation Ja’Marr Chase, who has hauled in 22 receptions for 220 yards and four touchdowns.

Cincy ranks 17th in points scored, and Burrow has thrown four interceptions in three games. The Jaguars were able to contain the Cardinals’ high-scoring defense in Week 3. Every game is different but if they can once again play at a high level and force one or two turnovers, the Jags will have a legitimate shot to beat the Bengals. They had a chance to earn their first win of the year against Arizona but squandered it. They can’t do the same against Cincinnati.

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