Free NFL Picks: Cincinnati at New York Jets 11-25-2010

November 25, 2010


Cincinnati Bengals at New York Jets

Thursday November 25th, 2010 8:20 PM EST

Line: New York -9


The 2-8 Bengals might not be the most disappointing team in the NFL, but they are certainly in the discussion. The Bengals have lost seven in a row. After being beaten by 18 by Buffalo in their own building, it appears as though Cincinnati has lost their fight.

The 8-2 New York Jets are 3-1 since the bye week. Those wins have not come easily though, as the Jets have won two games in overtime and won the other by a field goal. The Jets began the season by rolling over opponents, but have been slowed down of late. Tight wins are a great way to build confidence in the locker room. Despite their recent ‘struggles’, can the Jets put it all together against the flawed Bengals?

Keys to the Game:

  • Terrell Owens has dug his own grave, by calling Darrelle Revis an average corener back. Revis is as good as they come at corner and he has proved that time and time again. T.O. might not even be matched up against Revis. A better matchup for the Jets is a huge physical corner in Anotonio Cromartie on T.O. and a shut down corner on Chad Ocho Cinco. Not to mention, even if T.O. explodes for over 100 yards -which he has three times this season- that may not result in a Bengals victory, which it hasn’t in each of these efforts. I give the edge to Revis over any receiver in the game and Owens and Ocho Cinco are in for a rude awakening if they think they are going to run circles around the Jets secondary.
  • LaDainian Tomlinson’s recent decline has a lot to do with the relative struggles of the Jets. In the games when the Jets flat out dominated, so did L.T. It is unclear if the Jets are trying to save L.T. for the playoffs or if he is simply struggling to get back into his groove. He hasn’t topped 60 yards since week 5, though he has proved to be a viable option out of the backfield. Tomlinson needs to have a big game to stay on track for 1107 yards this season.
  • What do Ray Rice, LeSean McCoy, and LaDainian Tomlinson have in common? They all have less yards than Cedric Benson. Benson has been the object of criticism from many, myself included. Last season he had a huge year and played a main role in helping the Bengals sweep the AFC North on the way to the playoffs. He has struggled, but his struggles may be exaggerated. While Benson was shut down by the Colts, he put up 124 yards last week. The Jets aren’t going to allow Benson to get rolling, but if he can get any sort of production, it will help out his receivers, who are likely to struggle.
  • The Bengals need a leader on defense. Allowing 49 points to the Bills last week is a testament to the woes of the Bengals defense. The offense can put up points, but a defense allowing 26.2 points a game doesn’t put them in a position to win. After last week, it appears it is only getting worse for Cincinnati and they need someone within the locker room to stop the bleeding. The Bengals got it done with virtually the same cast last year. How will they respond while playing for Marvin Lewis’ job?
  • Mark Sanchez gets punished for coming into a good system. You take a look at quarterbacks the media dubs “game managers”. It is a degrading tag that follows the Joe Flacco and Mark Sanchez types for not being solely responsible for their team’s victories. If people would take notice, they would realize he has thrown for 336, 199, and 315 yards in his last three games. The Jets are a running football team, but when they were unable to run their way to a victory, the Jets relied heavily on Sanchez to come away with a victory, and he produced. Don’t be surprised to see the Jets come out throwing.

Key Matchup:

Carson Palmer Vs. The Jets corners

  • Palmer is used to seeing at least one of his wide receivers in a favorable matchup. This week, he is going to be getting one on one matchups at times, but for the first time, neither of his receivers have a clear advantage. Palmer has struggled this season, Palmer has thrown five picks in his last two games, against Buffalo and Indianapolis. He had better not try to force the ball into tight coverage, or he will be adding to that total.
  • Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie provide a cornerback tandem that is unparalleled throughout the league. Off the line of scrimmage, Cromartie is difficult to get by. His athleticism allows him to go up and get the ball and his size makes it difficult for receivers to gain position on him. Every corner at every level should watch film on Revis. He is flawless in his delivery and can run step for step with anyone in the league. He doesn’t have a pick this year, but it’s hard to pick the ball off when the ball doesn’t come your way.

Wrap Up:

The Jets need to blow somebody away. The Bengals have provided no resistance lately and are almost certainly going to add an 8th loss to their streak. The Jets need to reestablish themselves as a dominant team. They might be okay with ugly or lucky wins, but they sure would like to see a big time performance where they hit on all cylinders. I like them to win by a double digit margin at home.

Free NFL Pick: New York -9

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