The New York Jets are riding high right now, and there are even some in the hopeful New York media who are talking about a possible sweep to put them right in the playoff picture.
Yes, we should probably be more realistic about it, especially since one of those remaining games against the Baltimore Ravens, but the fact is, the heat is off Adam Gase for the moment, and he seems to have a little more peace of mind since management told him that he will remain the head coach next season.
Apparently there could not be any better opponent this week – even if it’s on the road – than the Cincinnati Bengals, the NFL’s lone winless team (0-11, 4-6-1 ATS).
With Sam Darnold seemingly having some of his confidence back after seeing “ghosts” several weeks ago, could there be any stopping Gang Green this week?
Game time is 1 PM ET at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, and BetAnySports customers can watch it on CBS (televised regionally) and place wagers on it in real-time through the magic of Sports Betting Ultra or Live Betting Extra.
Yes, in the newspapers they took great pride in running a graphic that showed all the teams in the playoff hunt and included the Jets, who according to the good folks at Football Outsiders, have a 1.1% chance of making it to the post-season. The result could not have been any better last week, as they ran roughshod over Jon Gruden’s Oakland Raiders, beating them down to the tune of 34-3. They held the Raiders to ten first downs and 208 total yards, with Darnold connecting on 20 of 29 passes for 315 yards. With a 4-7 straight-up record, and three straight covering efforts (now 5-6 against the spread), and a home game on tap in which they’ll be seeking revenge over the Miami Dolphins, there is at least some chance that this team will finish at the .500 mark, which wouldn’t be too bad, considering they had to go without Darnold and with Luke Falk (now released) at quarterback for three games.
As for the Bengals, we wonder whether, following that 21-20 close shave loss at Seattle to open the season, Zac Taylor realize how hard it was going to be to get a win. What’s interesting is that beyond the Seahawks, the Bengals have played a couple of other likely playoff teams tough, losing by only four points to Buffalo and six points to Baltimore, both in a road games. However, after this last contest, in which rookie Ryan Finley completed just 12 of 26 passes, producing eleven first downs, Cincinnati may have come to the conclusion that he is not the “quarterback of the future.” And so going back to Andy Dalton at quarterback is a move that seems designed so that this team might have the best opportunity to wind up with at least one victory.
In the football betting odds that have been posted on this game by the folks at BetAnySports, the Jets are laying points as the visitor:
New York Jets -3
Cincinnati Bengals +3
Over 42 points -110
Under 42 points -110
There is some debate as to whether the Jets may have been a little undervalued by people all season long, and that is just a couple of things went their way, we’d see what they could really do. Le’Veon Bell might still have a chance to reach the 1000-yard plateau, but he’s been averaging only 3.2 yards per carry. Maybe 108 yards from scrimmage against Oakland suggests that he can do some real damage before the season is out.
Dalton has completed 60% of his passes for just 6.7 yards per attempt, and a TD-INT ratio of just 9-8. He has always been susceptible to being sacked (29 times this year), and of course he won’t have his best receiver, as AJ Green still hasn’t been practicing.
The Bengals had a chance last week, as they were tied 10-10 into the fourth quarter against Pittsburgh, which was using backup quarterback Devlin Hodges, but they ultimately came up short. They are going to have to do something to balance the offense, as less than 30% of their total yards have come on the ground. But we don’t know how much of a chance they’re going to have for that against this Jets’ defense, which allows only three yards per carry and has the best rate of “stuffing” ball carriers (holding them to no gain or negative yardage) in the NFL.
There are indeed some good things to look at with the Jets, and the toughness of Gregg Williams’ defensive unit upfront is one of them. Maybe they’ll make Cincinnati one-dimensional to even greater degree, and if you consider that the Bengals have scored more than 20 points only once all season, with just 43 points in their last four games, that has obviously not been a successful way to go. Remember that the Bengals have been 31st in the league is pass defense efficiency as well, meaning Darnold has some room to work.
Now with the Jets actually scoring a few more points lately (34 in each of the last three games), they are definitely the more well-rounded side here, unless they somehow go flat and demonstrate that they are indeed as bad as they looked earlier in the season. Regardless of the presence of Dalton, we’ll lay the points here.
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