The Jacksonville Jaguars and Cincinnati Bengals will face off this Sunday in a matchup of old AFC Central Division rivals. Sunday will mark just the eighth time that the two teams have faced since the NFL expanded its division format after the 2001 season.
Before we break down Sunday's showdown, here's some information regarding the game.
How to watch
The Jaguars will take the field Sunday for the first time after Jalen Ramsey to the Los Angeles Rams. Along with the drama regarding Ramsey, the Jaguars have also experienced Minshew Mania, as new starting quarterback Gardner Minshew has injected life into a Jacksonville team that needed fresh oxygen after an 0-2 start.Pro Bowl cornerback
But after guiding the Jaguars to a pair of victories, Minshew has not been able to get Jacksonville back in the win column each of the previous two weeks. The Jaguars lost an offensive battle to the Carolina Panthers in Week 5 before dropping a defensive showdown last Sunday at home to the New Orleans Saints. At 2-4, the Jaguars need to string together some wins to move ahead of the Houston Texans and Indianapolis Colts in the AFC South division race.
While the Jaguars still have a pulse with regard to the postseason, the Bengals are just looking to get a win after coming up short in each of their first six games. Cincinnati has been competitive in most of their games, however, losing four of their first six games by six points or less. The Bengals have had to deal with a multitude of injuries, including to receivers A.J. Green (ankle) and John Ross (shoulder) along with cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick (knee), defensive end Carlos Dunlap (knee) and defensive end Kerry Wynn (concussion). The Bengals also lost offensive tackle Jonah Williams, the team's first-round pick, to a season-ending shoulder injury during training camp.
One of the team's bright spots this season has been receiver Tyler Boyd, a 2016 second-round pick who has turned into quarterback Andy Dalton's most reliable target this season. Defensive end Sam Hubbard, a local product who was a third-round pick in the 2018 draft, has also had a productive season, as he leads the Bengals with three sacks through six games.
The Jaguars, who are tied for fourth in the NFL in sacks, should have no issue penetrating a Bengals offensive line that has already allowed 22 sacks of Dalton. Conversely, Minshew should have plenty of time to throw against a Cincinnati defense that has recorded just seven sacks through six games.
Additionally, Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette, the NFL's third leading rusher entering Sunday's game, shouldn't have much of a problem running against a Bengals defense that is dead last in the NFL against the run. Conversely, Cincinnati, who has struggled to run the ball this season, may finally be able to get Joe Mixon -- a 1,100-yard rusher last season -- going against the Jaguars' 25th-ranked run defense.
That being said, the Jaguars' mismatches, specifically regarding their pass rush and rushing attack, will be enough to get an ugly win in the Queen City.
Pick: Jaguars 17, Bengals 16