The Cincinnati Bengals (0-2) head to New Jersey to take on the New York Jets (1-1) on Sunday at MetLife Stadium.
It’s the second year in a row the Bengals will face the Jets on their home turf. In 2021, Cincinnati played one of its worst games and lost 34-31.
Here’s how they can avoid an 0-3 start and get their season on the right track:
Start fast with Joe Burrow and score early on offense
Joe Burrow and Zac Taylor both said this week the priority for this offense is starting faster and not playing from behind. In order for Taylor to have his full play-calling sheet available to him, the Bengals can’t be down two scores at the half. When the Bengals are balanced on offense it’s when they are at their best. The run game needs to get better to open up the passing game. And vice versa. If Burrow takes care of the ball and gets the ball out of his hands quick, the Bengals’ offense should be too much to handle for a young Jets defense that has allowed 27 points per game.
Bengals vs Jets:Joe Burrow confident Cincinnati will fix issues on offense
Create more turnovers with the Jets starting Joe Flacco and not Zach Wilson
The one area the Bengals’ defense has lacked in is generating turnovers. They’ve continued to be a really solid unit under defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo’s direction. But the one area they can take the next step is getting their hands on the ball more and giving more opportunities back to their offense. Look for Jessie Bates, Logan Wilson and Vonn Bell to lead the charge in making this happen.
Cincinnati has generated just one turnover in two games. The Bills and Rams have both recorded seven in the same timeframe. Anarumo says he believes his group is very close and perhaps the Bengals can force Jets’ veteran quarterback Joe Flacco into turning the ball over. Flacco is starting in place of second-year quarterback Zach Wilson who suffered a knee injury in the preseason.
“He's going to get it out of his hands and he makes good decisions,” Anarumo said. “He never has been the most mobile game, obviously that's not saying anything there, but he's getting it out on time and really being effective.
Nail the small details along the offensive line so Joe Burrow doesn't get sacked
Too many miscommunication errors are taking place up front and some end in a result of Burrow getting sacked. Cincinnati’s offensive line is too experienced for these type of mental errors to be occurring at the level they are. Right tackle La’el Collins didn’t practice on Wednesday or Thursday and that’s concerning. He played one of his worst games against Dallas and could use the reps he would get in practice, especially when the team installs the game plan on Wednesdays. Overall, if the Bengals offensive line executes at a higher level and Burrow takes care of the ball, there’s no reason Cincinnati should not beat the Jets.
Bengals offensive woes:Breaking down why Cincinnati needs to fix the run game to unleash the whole offense
This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: How the Cincinnati Bengals can beat the New York Jets