Monday Night Football Week 13 Preview: Bengals vs Jaguars
Monday Night Football Week 13 Preview
Cincinnati Bengals (5-6) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (8-3)
- Spread: Jaguars -10
- Over/Under: 40
The Bengals come into this contest reeling, losing 3 straight games and quarterback Joe Burrow will be missing the remainder of the season with a wrist injury. Quarterback Jake Browning will be under center for the Bengals and needs his backfield mate Joe Mixon to be more efficient in the offense. Browning has been decent since taking over the offense, passing for 295 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 1 interception in two games. Mixon is having a solid season, rushing for 621 yards and 4 touchdowns. Mixon is coming off his worst game of the year, rushing 8 times for only 16 yards. Luckily Mixon has been racking up yards in the passing game, in 3 of the last 4 games he has over 30 yards receiving. The Bengals offense also gets the much-needed return of wide receiver Tee Higgins. Higgins hasn’t played since week 9, where he had 8 receptions for 110 yards. The talented receiver logged a full participant practice on Friday and is likely to suit up for this game. Ja’Marr Chase has taken a step back with Browning at quarterback but is having another impressive season overall. Chase has 75 catches for 914 yards and 6 touchdowns. Chase has proven to be one of the league's premium receivers and he needs to be on his A game in this game to keep the Bengals close.
The Jaguars find themselves with an 8-3 record and firmly in the hunt to win the top seed in the AFC. Winning 7 of their last 8 matchups has been vital because the AFC South is much tighter than most people realize, the Colts and Texans are both at 7-5. The Jaguars are playing this well and their quarterback, Trevor Lawrence, isn’t even playing up to his potential. The third-year quarterback has struggled early in the season but has picked it up in the last two games. On the season, Lawrence has passed for 2,746 yards, and 12 touchdowns, but has 7 interceptions and 4 fumbles lost. Lawrence has done enough to win but needs to hit that extra gear to win the division and compete for the number 1 seed in the AFC. Travis Etienne Jr. has been a mainstay all season in both the run game and, the receiving game. The dual-threat running back has 726 rushing yards and 312 receiving yards. Etienne has 8 total touchdowns on the season but they have only come in 5 separate games and he hasn’t scored in 3 consecutive games. The Jags have 3 very good pass catchers in the offense, wide receivers Calvin Ridley, Christian Kirk, and tight end Evan Engram. After missing the last season and a half, Ridley is back and helping this offense tremendously. Ridley has brought in 47 passes for 663 yards and 5 touchdowns. Kirk is the primary slot receiver and has been very dependable for the offense. Bringing in 56 grabs, 761 yards and 3 touchdowns. Even Engram is a terrific pass-catching tight end but has not yet been able to find the endzone this season.
Keys To Victory
Bengals: The Run Game. The Bengals and Joe Mixon need to have a more effective running game in this matchup. Putting too much pressure on Browning and the passing game is not an effective way for the team to move the ball. Getting Mixon involved and having an effective run game overall will in turn set up the play-action passing game and help Browning move around in the pocket. Mixon has not rushed for more than 70 yards since week 8.
Jaguars: Protect the Ball. The Jags come into this game as the clear favorites. An easy way to mess that up would be to give the Bengals extra possessions. Lawrence only has 1 turnover in the last two weeks combined but was much more turnover-prone early in the season, combining for 10 turnovers in the first 10 weeks.
Prop Bet Pick
Travis Etienne Over 15.5 Receiving Yards (-113)
This line is surprisingly low for a good pass-catching running back like Etienne. Etienne has only hit this line in 1 of the last 3 weeks but he has hit the over of 15.5 yards in 8 of 11 games this season. He is heavily involved and has 2 or more catches in every game this season.
Bengals Offense: Tyler Boyd. Boyd has built a rapport with Browning and has seen 5 or more targets in 4 straight games. Boyd is probably the best number 3 wide receiver on any team in the NFL and with Tee Higgins returning from injury he may be on a slight snap count or he could not have great chemistry with Browning. Boyd is much cheaper than the other primary pieces on the Bengals offense and he will be involved.
Jaguars Offense: Evan Engram. The Bengals struggle to cover the tight end position and Engram has had a good season. He is very involved in the offense, receiving 6 or more targets every week except week 1. This could be the first week he scores and he is less salary than any of the other Jaguars top pass catchers.
Matthew St.Pierre has always had a deep love for sports. Throughout his life, he has played and watched just about every major sport there is. With over nine years competing in fantasy leagues for football, hockey, and baseball, sports have always been a huge part of his life. Matt looks forward to building a successful career as a journalist, offering in-depth investigations and quality insights across all sports topics. Outside of sports, you'll find Matt playing video games, walking his dog, Simba, and traveling.