JACKSONVILLE, FLA – The Jaguars travel to Cincinnati to face the winless Bengals on Sunday. Although this is just Week 7, the Jaguars face a tremendously important game if they want to return to playoff contention. Here are my four keys to the game.
1. Early success. The Bengals enter the game at 0-6. Despite head coach Zac Taylor's assertion that his team has handled the adversity well, no 0-6 team can avoid thinking "here we go again" if they trail
by two scores in the first quarter. Hit them early and they could fold.
2. Get Gardner going. After his first poor performance of the year, it's vital Gardner Minshew gets back to playing as he did the previous five weeks. The Saints game planned for Minshew by rushing and keeping him hemmed in. If the Bengals try the same approach, Minshew needs to be able to make plays downfield from the pocket.
3. Corner the market. Since Jalen Ramsey began throwing his tantrum, Tre Herndon has been inserted as the starter. He has produced mixed returns. This would be a great week for him to have a big game. The Bengals are anything but potent and there isn't a matchup with a wide receiver that should scare the Jaguars this week. Let's see what Herndon can do.
4. Big day for Fournette. Leonard Fournette was not happy that the Jaguars traded Ramey. While he didn't lash out, he did make it clear with a Twitter meme showing a single tear after Ramsey was traded. The Bengals ranks dead last in the NFL in rushing defense. Let Fournette get to it.