Thursday, 25 November 2010
Cincinnati Bengals v New York Jets, 20:20PM
The best way to gain an understanding of the upcoming match between the Cincinnati Bengals and the New York Jets is to simply take a look at last season's two matchups between the teams concerned. First confrontation saw a 10-5 Bengals team start out as the favorite, only to have its swagger completely destroyed by a home underdog which administered a 37-0 trouncing, walking all over the AFC North Champs' egos.
A week later, the two teams met again in the wild-card round of the playoffs, and although this time the Bengals weren't held scoreless, the outcome was pretty much the same. A 24-14 defeat for Cincinnati turned the season series in favor of the Jets for good. Last year, the stakes were high for the Jets in the regular-season finale that they played against the Bengals. It was basically a do or die game for them so it had been obvious from the very beginning that they would bring their best. As far as the Bengals were concerned, the game was marred by quarterback Carson Palmer's struggles. He made only one of 11 passes, connecting for a lowly 0 yards. On the other side of the barricade, Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez didn't exactly turn in a career performance either, but he didn't need to. He made few mistakes and made eight of 16 passes for 63 yards.
In the first of last season's games, the Jets rushed a massive 257 yards and they followed that up with a 171-yards performance in Cincinnati a week later. The Bengals' Cedric Benson had a career-high of 169 yards rushed on 21 carries in the losing effort. Benson has never really managed to reach that level again since, his best two performances this season amounting to only about 81 yards against Tampa Bay and Buffalo, both games dropped by the Bengals.
With a 2-8 record, the Bengals do not really look like team that would seriously threaten the Jets this time around. Their home loss to Buffalo last week is a clear indication of the rut that the struggling passing game has landed them in, despite the addition of Terrell Owens. Palmer did well in the game, throwing for 230 yards as the Bengals ended up dropping another heartbreaker, jotting another mark into their L column, the eighth straight one. To further add to their woes, all of their last seven losses came by fewer than eight points. The especially painful home loss against Buffalo came after they led 31-14. The Jets are coming off a sensational win against Houston, one attained a mere 6 seconds before the end of regulation. Besides providing them with a much-needed mark in the W column, the win underscored another, possibly more important fact: the emergence of Mark Sanchez as one of the league's top clutch playmakers. Despite winning three of their last four games SU, the Jets failed to cover the spread three out of four times. Cincinnati have done even worse against the spread in their last seven games, going 1-6. The over dominated the last few games of both teams. Five of the last seven games Cincinnati had went over, and three of the last four went over for the Jets as well.
The Jets are currently -9 favorites at the books, with the line having started off -8.5. The current total is set to 44 having started off 43.5. Don't forget: the game takes place in New York, at the new Meadowlands stadium.