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Monday Night Football: Experts' Forecast for Bengals vs. Jaguars | Final Analysis 

Final Analysis - Week 13 - FB

JACKSONVILLE – Each week during the 2023 season, Jaguars "experts" – Tony Boselli, Frank Frangie, Jeff Lageman, Brent Martineau, John Oehser, Brian Sexton, J.P. Shadrick and Kainani Stevens – will analyze the following day's Jaguars matchup.

Up this week:

The Cincinnati Bengals at EverBank Stadium.

Tony Boselli, Jaguars Analyst and Former Jaguars Left Tackle

  • The Jaguars will win if: They don't give the Bengals any gifts and jump out to a fast start, removing any confidence the Bengals might have. The Jaguars are a better team than the Burrow-less Bengals. If the Jaguars play a clean, smart game – not giving the Bengals extra possessions by turning the ball over – they should have no issues at home.
  • The Bengals will win if: They are plus two or more in turnover margin, and get the run game going with Mixon.  The Bengals are plus-10 in turnover margin, and will need to give their offense some short fields to have a chance with Browning as their quarterback.
  • As Boselli sees it: This is a game I think the Jaguars dominate. EverBank Stadium will be rocking, and I think the Jaguars will jump on the Bengals from the opening kickoff. Jaguars 31, Bengals 10.

Frank Frangie, Radio Voice of the Jaguars

  • The Jaguars will win if: They continue to play as they have been playing. They have done a good job of attacking vertically, Lawrence has found a rhythm and defensively they have found the pass rush that concerned everyone so much. They also must continue to be good against the run.
  • The Bengals will win if: They somehow shut down Lawrence and that emerging passing game – and if they can get Browning going. They obviously aren't the same team without Burrow and it has been tough sledding since they lost him. They also need a good game from Mixon — and they need long, slow drives to eat clock and keep the ball away from Lawrence. That might be their only chance.
  • As Frangie sees it: The Jaguars are the better team, are playing at home at night in front of a Monday Night Football crowd for the first time in 12 years and are playing extremely well. The Jaguars should be able to take care of business here.

Jeff Lageman, Jaguars Analyst and Former Jaguars Defensive End

  • The Jaguars will win if: They continue the offensive momentum they have gained in the last few weeks and protect the football. The Bengals' defense has been struggling to stop the run; if the Jags can get their ground game going it could be a long day for Cincinnati.
  • The Bengals will win if: Their offensive line can protect Browning and allow him time to find one of the most explosive weapons in the NFL in Chase. Browning is an inexperienced passer and will need running back Joe Mixon to take the pressure off to have a successful day.
  • As Lageman sees it: There is nothing better than playing in prime time on Monday Night Football. It is the only game on and all of your peers, family and friends are watching. Emotions must be controlled as the environment will be spectacular. If the Jaguars play clean and limit their own mistakes, they will beat the Burrow-less Bengals.

Brent Martineau, Action Sports Jax Sports Director

  • The Jaguars will win if: They score 20 or more points. That's the formula this year and the Jaguars are unbeaten when they hit that mark. In their eight victories, they are averaging more than 28 points per game. The mission will be to score more than 20, but 20 might be enough against a Bengals team without Burrow.
  • The Bengals will win if: They win the turnover margin by two or more. The Jaguars have been tough to beat when they hold onto the football. Cincinnati is a bit limited on offense with Burrow out, so they will have to be opportunistic Monday.
  • As Martineau sees it: The Jaguars will win, but I think Cincinnati will put up a good fight early in this one. Let's go with a final score of 27-16, Jaguars.
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Houston Texans

John Oehser, Senior Writer

  • The Jaguars will win if: They play at the defensive level they have played most of the season. The Jaguars' defense has consistently shut down teams in the first half, allowing the Jaguars' offense to either pull away or make the plays necessary in the second half to win. With Burrow out, it's fair to expect a strong game from the Jaguars' defense.
  • The Bengals will win if: They force takeaways and turn them into points. The Bengals have capable playmakers on defense. If they pressure Lawrence, they're an experienced enough team to win on the road in a difficult circumstance.
  • As Oehser sees it: The Jaguars are a division-leading team fighting for playoff seeding against a team without its starting quarterback. They're playing at home and the intensity should be high in their first Monday Night Football appearance in a dozen years. Those factors bode well for the Jaguars Monday.

Brian Sexton, Senior Correspondent

  • The Jaguars will win if: They keep taking shots down the field. Going vertical has been a focus the last two weeks and wide receiver Zay Jones' presence makes it harder for defenses to take the deep ball away from wide receiver Calvin Ridley. The Bengals' defense is built to be aggressive and play with the lead, but it has been on its heels since quarterback Joe Burrow was placed on injured reserve a few weeks ago. The Bengals have been susceptible to the big play, which was evident when the Houston Texans put up 544 yards against them three weeks ago. They also allowed the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers both to gain more than 400 yards of offense.
  • The Bengals will win if: They give quarterback Jake Browning time to find JaMarr Chase and Co. Browning isn't Burrow, but the Bengals still have the same weapons. If Browning has time to find wide receivers Chase, Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd, it will be a problem for a Jaguars secondary that has allowed 255 yards per game passing and 6.76 yards per completion – which both rank in the bottom third of the league. If Browning has time to throw, the Bengals have a chance to pull the upset.
  • As Sexton sees it: This was supposed to be a showcase for two of the NFL's best young quarterbacks, Burrow and Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence. Instead, it will be a proving ground for a Jaguars team in prime time with its sights set on the AFC's No. 1 seed. Their focus is sharp after a Week 10 loss to the San Francisco 49ers, and I don't think the Bengals can hold up on either side of the ball. This should be the Jaguars' ninth win of the season.

J.P. Shadrick, Senior Reporter

  • The Jaguars will win if: They protect the football on offense. This is a Bengals defense that is giving up yardage, and the Jaguars are just on the cusp of hitting their stride on offense. Trevor Lawrence in games following 300-plus yard games has a 3-4 record with an average of just under 200 yards per game, but Lawrence should reverse that trend this week.
  • The Bengals will win if: They get a couple takeaways on defense and protect Jake Browning from the Jaguars pass rush. If Browning gets rid of the ball quick and gets it to playmakers, then it can be a tough day.
  • As Shadrick sees it: The Bengals are not the Bengals without Joe Burrow. In fact, under Head Coach Zac Taylor, the Bengals are 4-20 in games started by quarterbacks other than Joe Burrow, including 2-6 since he was drafted first overall in 2020. The Jaguars seem poised and ready to make their best run toward the No. 1 seed. That starts Monday Night with an emphatic victory.

Kainani Stevens, reporter

  • The Jaguars will win if: They don't underestimate their opponent. The Jaguars underestimated the Texans in Week 3 and that came back to bite them. I believe the team has learned from that mistake and will take the matchup with Cincinnati seriously. If the Jags play their game, then it should be a straightforward win.
  • The Bengals will win if: Browning at quarterback can feed their superstar receivers. The Jaguars have been susceptible to the big play and Chase, Higgins and Boyd are more than capable of taking advantage.
  • As Stevens sees it: The return to Monday Night Football will be a victorious one for the Jaguars. I expect a big night out of Jaguars running back Travis Etienne Jr. as the Jaguars improve to 9-3.

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