Jacksonville vs Cincinnati 2021 NFL Game Preview

Jacksonville vs Cincinnati | 2021 NFL Game Preview

The Thursday night matchup this week in the NFL features two former No. 1 overall picks at quarterback as Jacksonville’s Trevor Lawrence and Cincinnati’s Joe Burrow meet as professionals for the first time – they met two years ago in a national title game. The Bengals are solid favorites on the NFL odds.

How to Bet Jaguars at Bengals NFL Odds & TV Info

Series History

Thursday will be the 24th all-time meeting between the two franchises, with the Jaguars holding a 13-10 series advantage. The Bengals won last year, though, 33-25 at home also in Week 4. Joe Mixon rushed for 151 yards and two scores and also caught a TD pass. Joe Burrow was 25-for-36 for 300 yards and that TD. Gardner Minshew was 27 for 40 for 351 yards and two touchdowns for Jacksonville. He’s now with the Eagles.

The Bengals and Jaguars were rivals in the AFC Central Division from 1995 through 2001, playing twice each season. This week’s game is their 10th meeting since the 2002 realignment that put Cincinnati in the AFC North and Jacksonville in the AFC South. The Bengals hold a 5-4 series edge since the realignment.

Why Bet on Jacksonville?

The Jaguars are a mess at 0-3 and have lost 18 straight games overall. They were beaten 31-19 on Sunday by Arizona but at least led 13-7 at the half. Jamal Agnew returned a missed field goal a record-tying 109 yards for a score on the final play of the first half.

No. 1 overall pick Trevor Lawrence completed 22-of-34 passes for 219 yards one touchdown and two interceptions. He also fumbled twice late, once when running back James Robinson knocked the ball out of his hands while trying to block and again on the final play of the game. Lawrence has nine turnovers in three games and is on pace to throw 40 interceptions this season. Hall of Famer Peyton Manning holds the rookie record with 28 set in 1998.  Lawrence said he believed four of his interceptions this season were bad decisions, adding that a little more than one per game was too many.

Robinson had totaled 134 scrimmage yards (88 rushing, 46 receiving) in the loss and recorded his first rushing touchdown of the season. In last year’s meeting vs. Jacksonville, Robinson had 107 scrimmage yards (75 rushing, 32 receiving).  The Jaguars played with great energy and passion Sunday, but turnovers and critical errors undermined their effort.

Defensively, the Jaguars can build upon a performance in which the unit held its own against one of the NFL’s most explosive offenses. Despite surrendering 400-plus yards, the Jaguars kept the Cardinals under wraps and were in a position to win heading into the fourth quarter. Linebacker Myles Jack led the Jaguars with a season-high 10 tackles vs. Arizona. He recorded an interception in last year’s meeting in Cincinnati and aims for his third in a row against the Bengals with an interception.

Defensively, the Jags are much improved against the run. Through three games in 2021, the Jaguars have allowed 115.7 yards per game rushing. They also have allowed 3.4 yards per carry compared to 4.7 last season.  The defense this season employs a three-linemen, four-linebacker scheme considered well-suited against the run. Linemen Roy Robertson-Harris and Malcom Brown joined DaVon Hamilton up front, and the addition of linebacker Damien Wilson to the linebacking corps has made a significant difference.

Lawrence once played on five days rest in college, which he said wasn’t so different than normal. He will play on three days’ rest this week.

“Oh, gosh, it’s completely different,” Lawrence said. “It’s like you don’t even know what day it is. You try to do the same things you do in a normal week. You just have to be a lot more efficient with your time.”

Why Bet on Cincinnati?

Second-year QB Joe Burrow got the first road win of his career last Sunday, 24-10 in Pittsburgh. Burrow completed 14 of 18 passes for a career-high 77.8 completion percentage and added three touchdown passes. He is one of three AFC quarterbacks (Derek Carr and Patrick Mahomes) with at least two touchdown passes in each of the first three weeks of the season.

Rookie WR Ja’Marr Chase now has four receiving TDs this season, tied for second in the NFL behind the Rams’ Cooper Kupp. He stands as just the ninth rookie in NFL history to catch a TD in each of his first three career games, and the third to catch TDs of at least 25 yards in their first three games (Donte Stallworth in 2002, Billy Howton in 1952).

The Bengals controlled the game against Pittsburgh from start to finish on both sides of the ball. Burrow averaged 9.6 yards per attempt through the air, while Joe Mixon averaged 5.0 yards per carry on the ground. Burrow also was not sacked all afternoon, breaking an NFL-record streak of 75 straight games in which the Steelers had recorded a sack.

LB Logan Wilson picked off Ben Roethlisberger twice and led the team in tackles (14). The offense turned Wilson’s two INTs into 14 points. Wilson now has three INTs this season, tied for most in the NFL entering Week 4 and most in a season by a Bengals LB since Odell Thurman (five) in 2005.

Safety Jessie Bates had eight tackles and a tackle for loss last week and since entering the league in 2018, ranks second among all safeties with 340 tackles. However, Bates is not likely to play Thursday due to injury. y. One of the most underrated safeties in the league, his absence would have a size negative impact on the Cincinnati secondary.

Cornerback Chidobe Awuzie is in question with a groin injury. Awuzie only played 49% of snaps in Week 3 before exiting with a groin ailment. Fellow CB Trae Waynes should be good to go. Waynes still hasn’t played a game for Cincinnati after signing a three-year, $42 million deal in 2020.

The Bengals have played 14 times previously on Thursday, posting a 8-7 record. Cincinnati has a 5-2 record on TNF at home, but just a 3-5 mark on the road.

Game Trends

  • Jaguars are 2-7 ATS in their last 9 games after allowing more than 30 points in their previous game.
  • Jaguars are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games following a ATS loss.
  • Bengals are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 Thursday games.
  • Bengals are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games as a favorite.
  • Bengals are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games following a ATS win.
  • Favorite is 3-0-1 ATS in their last 4 meetings.

Expert Prediction: Bengals 27, Jaguars 20


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