3 keys to beating the Bengals: Jaguars must make Cincinnati offense one-dimensional

• The Jaguars are riding a 2-game winning streak onto MNF

• They'll next welcome the Jake Browning-led Bengals

• Here are three keys for the Jags to get their 3rd win in a row

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Jake Browning (6) drops back with the ball in the first quarter of
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Jake Browning (6) drops back with the ball in the first quarter of / Sam Greene/The Enquirer / USA TODAY
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The Jacksonville Jaguars have bounced back nicely after a loss to the San Francisco 49ers, beating the Tennessee Titans and Houston Texans in back-to-back weeks. Next on their schedule is a Cincinnati Bengals team that's trying to stay afloat following the season-ending injury to Joe Burrow.

At 5-6, it's hard to see Cincinnati running the table and making the playoffs. That said, they could be a handful, and the last thing the Jags want is to lose, given how much is at stake. For starters, falling to the Bengals would set them back in their quest for the No. 1 playoff seed. Also, the 7-5 Houston Texans are lurking close, and a loss on Monday Night Football would cut down the two-game lead they currently hold in the division.

Conversely, a win on Monday Night Football would keep Jacksonville in the thick of the race for a playoff BYE and solidify their place at the top of the AFC South. With that in mind, here are three things the Jaguars must do to beat Cincinnati in Week 13.

3. Containing Joe Mixon and the Bengals running game must be the top priority

The Jaguars have a relatively simple philosophy on defense: Focus on stopping the run, force teams into third-and-long situations, and make their offense one-dimensional. While that may sound a bit reductive, that's what coordinator Mike Caldwell and his group aim for week in and week out. More often than not, the formula works.

In Week 13, the Jaguars will face a Bengals running game that ranks last in the league in rushing yards and 27th in rushing touchdowns. While Joe Mixon can still break off a few big runs every now and then, the Cincinnati offensive line has struggled to open lanes for him.

Not surprisingly, Mixon is averaging 3.9 yards per carry and fewer than 60 yards per game. Stopping him and forcing the Bengals to abandon the run early in the game will go a long way toward getting a win Monday Night.