Jets vs. Bengals: TV Schedule, Live Stream, Radio, Game Time and More
The New York Jets and Cincinnati Bengals both begin the journey toward the playoffs with a preseason game. Even though the starters will only see limited playing time, the backups will play with plenty of intensity as they try to lock down jobs.
After two straight trips to the AFC Championship Game, the Jets finished just 8-8 last season and failed to qualify for the postseason. The addition of backup quarterback Tim Tebow has led to plenty of attention, but other players will have to do the heavy lifting.
It's the direct opposite for Cincinnati. The Bengals were one of the NFL's biggest surprises last season as rookie quarterback Andy Dalton led a playoff charge, but they still aren't getting much respect around the league. That's probably a good thing.
Here's a look at all the key information for Friday night's game followed by some things to watch as both teams attempt to develop some chemistry.
Which team will win the preseason opener?
Where: Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio
When: Friday, Aug. 10 at 7:30 p.m. ET
Watch: NFL Network
Radio: WEPN 98.7 FM (New York) or WCKY 1530 AM (Cincinnati)
Live Stream: Preseason Live
What's At Stake?
In the long run, the game won't have a significant impact on either team's season unless a star player suffers a major injury. Nobody will point back at this game in December as the reason the Jets or Bengals were able to succeed.
If there's any angle, it's that the two teams are likely going to battle for the AFC wild card spots. So even though the clash doesn't mean much in the grand scheme of things, the sides will probably remain linked throughout the fall.
Otherwise, Rex Ryan and Marvin Lewis will just want to see their squads shake off the rust and escape without any long-term injuries.
Key Injuries (via CBS Sports)
Jets: Santonio Holmes (doubtful, rib/hamstring), Darrelle Revis (questionable, back), Jeremy Kerley (questionable, hamstring) and LaRon Landry (questionable, Achilles/groin)
Bengals: Dre Kirkpatrick (out, leg), Leon Hall (questionable, Achilles) and Jordan Shipley (questionable, knee)
Fantasy Prospect to Watch: Shonn Greene (Jets)
Greene has been one of the most frustrating players to own over the past few seasons. The presence of LaDainian Tomlinson prevented him from becoming a reliable fantasy commodity even though he's on a team that has preached a ground-and-pound mentality.
With Tomlinson out of the picture this could finally be the season where Greene breaks out. The players behind him on the depth chart are inexperienced, which should finally allow the Iowa product to become the clear cut No. 1.
Keep an eye on his usage in key areas like third down and red zone to get a better idea of what type of value he'll provide this season.
What They're Saying
Rex Ryan has seen enough of his players fighting each other after two straight days of heated encounters between teammates, according to Brian Costello of the New York Post.
"My big thing is protecting your teammate," Ryan said. "Don’t do anything selfish. I think sometimes you’re trying to be physical, but being physical is one thing. Going past that is something else, and that’s what I didn’t like. I had to remind guys that the enemy is not in green and white."
The Bengals have a logjam at wide receiver behind rising star A.J. Green. Kevin Kelly of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports Brandon Tate is among those battling for playing time and knows the importance of every chance he gets.
"Because we’re all young, competitive guys," he said. "We all want to play. But there aren’t enough spots for everybody. So whatever opportunity you get, you’ve got to make the best of it."
New York's Key Addition
Tim Tebow is going to have a major impact on the Jets. In some ways, he already has as evidenced by the increased media attention. And it seems like one of the prevailing question is when, not if, he'll replace Mark Sanchez under center.
As it stands now, Tebow has a myriad of jobs from backup quarterback to punt protector. But the Jets have a tough schedule during the first quarter of the season, meaning Sanchez will constantly be looking over his shoulder if things aren't going well.
It's going to become one of the biggest story lines of the season whether fans like it or not. And it all starts in the first preseason game with Tebow watch already underway.
Cincinnati's Key Addition
BenJarvus Green-Ellis came over from the New England Patriots to replace Cedric Benson as the team's lead back. He has scored 24 touchdowns over the past two seasons in Tom Brady's high-powered offense, but watched his carry average drop below four in 2011.
The Bengals need him to take pressure off Dalton for the offense to reach maximum potential. His role figures to be larger in Cincinnati than it ever was in New England as the Bengals attempt to achieve balance on offense.
How Green-Ellis responds will play a key role in whether or not the Bengals are able to make a return trip to the playoffs.
Key Matchup to Watch: Andy Dalton vs. Jets pass defense
Even though Dalton won't see a ton of playing time on Friday night, getting a chance to face one of the league's premier pass defenses is a good way to start the preseason. It will help him get back in the swing of things pretty quickly.
All Bengals fans are hoping Dalton can avoid the dreaded sophomore slump. His rookie season exceeded most expectations thanks to his instant connection with Green, but he needs to take another step forward in his development in 2012.
The Jets will once again rely heavily on their defense to lead the way. Ryan will be looking for consistency from his defensive backfield in the opener. No big mistakes.
How will the Jets and Bengals do in 2012?
Prediction: Jets 20, Bengals 17
Although Ryan doesn't enjoy watching his team brawl, it does show the players are fired up and involved already. In a preseason game where there will be plenty of going through the motions, that gives the Jets a slight edge.
It's hard to forecast exhibition games because the key players are ones only diehard fans of each team know about. Both coaching staffs have a game plan in mind as they look to prepare their players for the season, making the result secondary.
The only major talking point to emerge from the game will probably be Tebow's different roles and amount of time of the field.
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