The Cincinnati Bengals’ past meets its future on Thursday Night Football.
In their second home game of their 54th season, the Bengals will host Urban Meyer’s 0-3 Jacksonville Jaguars, who are quarterbacked by first-overall pick Trevor Lawrence.
They’ll play two quarters of football before the Bengals’ franchise officially does something that’s long overdue.
Anthony Munoz and Ken Anderson will be in attendance as both iconic players and men are inducted into the team’s inaugural Ring of Honor class during halftime. Paul Brown and Ken Riley, Cincinnati legends in their own right, will each be represented by family members as they join Munoz and Anderson posthumously in the class of 2021.
It’s set up to be a night to remember for the franchise and the fan base, and they couldn’t have picked a better opponent to ensure the evening ends in a win.
The Jaguars are among the worst teams in the sport right now as the start of Meyer’s NFL career is giving everyone in Jacksonville chest pains and headaches. Lawrence has flashed with his incredible arm talent, but he also has a share of the league-lead in interceptions with seven.
Jacksonville’s defense is struggling just as much. Football Outsiders’ DVOA metric has the unit ranked 27th according to their metrics. That’s great news for a Bengals’ offense that has been inconsistent at best through three weeks. On the bright side, Joe Burrow started to look like his old self against the Steelers earlier in the week. His three touchdowns and 9.56 yards per attempt could end up being the turning point for his recovery from knee surgery 10 months ago.
Defense has been the main story for the Bengals thus far. They boast a DVOA ranking inside the top five and are coming off a dominant showing in Pittsburgh. Their front seven hasn’t been this stout since the Mike Zimmer days, but the Jaguars’ biggest strength at the moment is their running game. Could this be the matchup to watch?
It’s Burrow vs. the quarterback he out-dueled in the 2020 National Championship and the coach who originally recruited him at Ohio State. This is the story-stream you need for all the latest news, updates, and analysis on Thursday night’s game.