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NFL Week 8 picks: Jets will cover vs. the Bengals

By Josh Katzowitz | NFL Writer

Geno Smith is one reason the Jets will cover vs. the Bengals. (USATSI)
Geno Smith is one reason the Jets will cover vs. the Bengals. (USATSI)

The Jets are 4-3 and coming off a big, last-second victory vs. the Patriots, one of the top teams in the AFC (according to their record, at least). The Bengals are 5-2 and are coming off a big, last-second victory vs. the Lions (and the Bengals probably are one of the better teams in the AFC).

In reality, the Bengals are probably a little bit better than the Jets (but maybe not by much), so it goes without saying that I like the Jets getting 6.5 to travel to Cincinnati.

Here are three reasons why:

1) The Jets are the only team to ever force Tom Brady into completing less than 50 percent of his passes twice in one season. If the Jets can do that to Brady, think of how Andy Dalton -- who I'm still not convinced is the Bengals quarterback of the future -- will fare against New York. Overall, the Jets haven't allowed a 300-yard passer this year, and in four of their seven games, their defense hasn't given up more than 210 yards through the air. New York is very good at rushing the passer, and though Cincinnati generally has protected its quarterback well this season, Dalton will have to be quick and accurate in order to lead drives down the field.

2) Geno Smith continues to be better than expected. Just like the rest of his team, Smith keeps on impressing. Yeah, there have been a few subpar performances thrown in the mix, and his stats aren't great. But check this out: in seven career games, he's already made four game-winning drives either in the fourth quarter or in overtime. Simply put, nobody has ever done that before in the NFL. That doesn't necessarily mean he's going to dominate Cincinnati, but you can understand why the Jets would have more confidence in the 2013 second-round pick instead of, say, Mark Sanchez.

3) The Bengals haven't played well the week after grabbing big wins. Cincinnati scored an important victory in Week 3 by knocking off the Packers 34-30 at home. The Bengals followed in Week 4 by losing to quarterback Brian Hoyer and the Browns. In Week 5, they were fantastic defensively in stopping the Patriots, but the week after that, they were lucky to get by the Bills, allowing Thad Lewis to make a fourth-quarter comeback to force overtime. Now, after a last-second win in Detroit, the Bengals again face a young, inexperienced quarterback (sort of like Hoyer and Lewis). I don't expect this trend of Bengals inconsistency to stop this week.

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