The Jacksonville Jaguars and Cincinnati Bengals are no longer divisional rivals, but the two franchises know each other well. The former AFC Central foes have faced off 22 times in the past, with the Jaguars winning 13 of those compared to Cincinnati’s nine victories. The two teams have never met in the playoffs.
As stated above, Jacksonville has had plenty of success against Cincinnati in the past. In fact, the Jaguars’ 59.1 percent winning percentage against the Bengals is actually the second-best mark the franchise has over any other team (a 70.6 percent winning percentage over fellow former AFC Central rival, the Cleveland Browns, ranks first.). The Jags have out-scored the Bengals by a mark of 496-365 over the series history.
The Jaguars have won two-straight games over the Bengals in 2017 and 2019. Prior to that, the Bengals had actually won four in a row in the series from 2008 through 2014. Going back further, Jacksonville actually lost its first three-games against Cincy in 1995-1996, but then went on to win seven of its next eight before losing to the Bengals in December of 2000. The Jaguars then reeled off four-straight before Cincinnati’s aforementioned run from 2008-2014.
The Jaguars are just 5-6 in Cincinnati, however, compared to 8-3 in Duval. Jacksonville got the job done in Ohio last season, though, with Gardner Minshew II throwing for 255 yards and a touchdown, and Leonard Fournette rushing for 131 yards, in a 27-17 victory. The 2020 contest takes place in Cincinnati and the Jags have not won back-to-back games there since 2001-2002.
So, obviously, the Jaguars have beaten the Bengals more often than not. Will that previous success translate to this Sunday’s game? Well, Jacksonville enters this year’s matchup with a 1-2 mark. After a surprising opening week victory over the Indianapolis Colts, and then going toe-to-toe with the Tennessee Titans — last year’s AFC Championship runner-up — and coming up just short, there was a lot of hope for this young team compared to the preseason outlook. However, the Jags came out flat last Thursday night against a subpar Miami Dolphins team, and the questions remain about this team’s prospects in 2020.
The Bengals are 0-2-1 after tying the Philadelphia Eagles last week. Rookie quarterback, and No. 1 overall pick, Joe Burrow looks the part, playing beyond expectations thus far. However, his offensive line is atrocious, allowing him to be sacked eight times last week. On the other side of the ball, the Cincinnati run defense allows 181.7 rushing yards per game.
I can’t predict the future, but the Jaguars always seem to play well against the Bengals and I would expect that success to continue this week. Even when Jacksonville has lost in this series, the scores have been close. Rookie running back James Robinson should be in for a heavy workload and efficient game against an abysmal rush defense, and perhaps the Jaguars can finally get the pass rush going against an offense that has allowed at least three sacks in every game so far this season. The Jaguars, at least on appear, seem to have the better overall roster, too. This is a good rebound opponent for Jacksonville, but with Burrow’s confidence ever-growing, this is far from an easy game.
Series history recap
Overall record: Jacksonville leads 13-9
Last Jaguars win: Oct. 20, 2019 (27-17)
Last Bengals win: Nov. 2, 2014 (33-23)
Current Streak: Jaguars have won two-straight games.
Biggest Jaguars win: 41-10 (Oct. 31, 1999)
Biggest Bengals win: 27-10 (Sept. 30, 2012)
Interesting takeaway: The Jaguars have never lost to the Bengals by a margin of larger than 17, and the Bengals have only beaten the Jaguars by 10 points or more three times. Meanwhile, the Jaguars have beaten the Bengals by double-digits nine times.