When the 2011 NFL schedule was released, I presume that most fans of the Jacksonville Jaguars penciled their Week 5 matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals as one of the most winnable games of the year. It's a home date for the Jaguars, and come on, it's the Bengals. Well, I don't suspect that too many fans have changed their tune about this week being a good opportunity to notch a win, but the Bengals have looked somewhat decent through four weeks. Defensively, they've looked better than just decent. The Bengals sport the top ranked overall defense having allowed a mere 275 yards per game. They're slightly better against the pass (3rd) than they are stopping the run (3rd), so this week might not be the week that Blaine Gabbert and the Jags' offense establish the rhythm and consistency that's alluded them through the rookie quarterback's first three career starts. Then again, the Jags should have plenty of chances as Cincinnati's offense has been equally inconsistent. They too have a rookie quarterback, Andy Dalton, under center.
Here's a few facts and figures for each team in anticipation of Sunday's showdown in Florida.
- Club aims for 8th consecutive win at home vs. Bengals.
- Rookie QB Blaine Gabbert (1st round, No. 10) has 90+ 4th quarter passer rating in 2 of past 3 games.
- Since '10 at home, RB Maurice Jones-Drew has 80+ rush yards in 8 of past 9...Jones-Drew is averaging 97.7 rush yards per game this season (391 total).
- WR Mike Thomas has reception of 30+ yards in each of past 2 games.
- TE Marcedes Lewis (17) needs 2 TD catches to surpass WR Reggie Williams (18) for 3rd-most in franchise history (Jimmy Smith, 67; Keenan McCafdell, 30). Lewis (2,305) needs 18 receiving yards to move into 5th place in Jaguars history (Williams; 2,322).
- TE Zach Miller registered 1st TD catch of career last week.
- LB Daryl Smith registered 6th career INT last game.
- LB Paul Posluszny leads team with 30 tackles. Posluszny registered 1st sack of season against Saints in Week 4.
- S Dawan Landry posted 1st INT as Jaguar last week.
- DE Austen Lane recorded 1st career sack last game.
- In 2 starts on road, rookie QB Andy Dalton (2nd round, No. 35) has completed 37 of 56 passes (66.1 pct.) for 413 yards with 3 TDs vs. 0 INTs & 105.7 passer rating. Dalton had 2 TDs last week (1 pass, 1 rush) & became 1st Cincinnati rookie to pass & run for TD in game since Jack Thompson on 11/18/79.
RB Cedric Benson posted 14th 100-yard rush game (104) with Bengals last week & Cin. has 12-2 (.857) record in such games. In only meeting vs. Jaguars, Benson rushed for 104 yards on 24 att. (4.3 avg.) with 1 TD.
- Rookie WR A.J. Green (1st round, No. 4) leads AFC rookies in catches (19) & receiving yards (312). Posted 2nd career 100-yard rec. game (118) last week. Green is tied for NFL-best with 3 catches of 40+ yards in '11.
- TE Jermain Gresham had career-best 70 rec. yards last week. Gresham is averaging 15.1 yards per catch in past 2 (8 catches, 121 yards).
- Bengals have allowed NFL-low 275.5 yards per game in '11.
- DT Geno Atkins has 2.5 sacks in past 3 games.
- S Reggie Nelson spent 3 seasons (2007-09) with Jaguars