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Jaguars vs. Bengals: 3 Keys to Victory

If the Jacksonville Jaguars do these three things against the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday Night Football, they’ll win by 1,000.

Jacksonville Jaguars v Cincinnati Bengals
Trevor Lawrence and the Jaguars are looking to run past the Cincinnati Bengals in their first Monday Night Football appearance since 2011.
Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

If there was ever an opportunity for the Jaguars to put up a dominating performance on national television, this is probably it. The Jags haven’t been on MNF since 2011 (which is a whole different story), and in a few days, they’ll take on the struggling, Joe Burrow-less Cincinnati Bengals.

We all know the NFL is a week-to-week league, and any team can knock off any other team on any given Sunday/Monday/Thursday/Friday/Saturday. While the Bengals still have a lot of talent, they have shown to be a shell of themselves without Joey B. On the other hand, the Jags are coming into their own on all sides of the ball.

So, without further ado, here’s how the Jags blowout Bengals on Monday night:

1. Stop the run.

There’s no need to reinvent the wheel. The Pittsburgh Steelers kept Joe Mixon and the Bengals to 22.6 total rushing yards last week and forced quarterback Jake Browning to throw. The result: 10 total points for Cincinnati (at home!). Let’s rinse and repeat.

To add to that point, the Jags have been fantastic against the run and rank fourth overall giving up only 87.4 yards per game. Oh, and did I mention the Bengals are dead last in the running game, putting up an average of 75.8 yards per game?

Jamar Chase is a beast and Tee Higgins is no slouch, but the Jaguars’ secondary has contained top wide receivers this season. Force Browning to drop back. Let Josh Allen eat. Jags by 1,000.

2. Finish first half drives.

The Bengals are ranked 29th in run defense giving up 139.6 yards per game and 26th in pass defense giving up 249.6 yards per game. They rank 19th in points allowed at 22 per game.

The Jags will get their yards, but they’ll let Cincy hang around if they don’t punch the ball in the end zone early on. The only way I see the Bengals winning is if the Jags repeat old habits and turn the ball over or settle for field goals.

It’s time for the Jags to figure out the short yardage stuff, don’t get too cute with the play calling, and for the love of the Monday Night Football gods, let’s get Evan Engram a damn touchdown.

3. Feed off the crowd.

This is the first Monday Night Football game since 2011 for the Jaguars. EverBank Stadium will be fire (as the kids say). One major aspect to this team becoming a viable Super Bowl contender is their ability to show up on big stages. Well, this is a pretty big stage.

Doug Pederson’s team needs to harness the energy of Duuuval – not let it overwhelm them. If they can do that, they’ll be lots of Jacksonville fans celebrating with post-game Natty Daddy’s after beating up on the The ‘Nati.

What other things must the Jags do to beat the Bengals on Monday?