Cincinnati Bengals vs. Jacksonville Jaguars Preview and Predictions

Michael SchotteyNFL National Lead WriterSeptember 24, 2012

The Cincinnati Bengals and Jacksonville Jaguars face off in NFL Week 4 with two defenses that are sure to put these second-year quarterbacks through their paces.

The Bengals' (2-1) Andy Dalton has been up and down in his second year, after many thought he could take the next step and avoid any sort of sophomore slump. Of course, it's hard to slump when you've got fantastic targets like A.J. Green and Jermaine Gresham to throw to. If anything has taken a step back in 2012, however, it's been the defense, as Marvin Lewis' group hasn't been among the league's best as many expected.

The Jaguars' (1-2) defense, too, has been a disappointment in 2012, and injuries have been a big part of keeping both sides of the ball below expectations in Mike Mularkey's first year as head coach. It's difficult to win in the NFL when a team is basically signing players off of the street and inserting them straight into the starting lineup. Blaine Gabbert has been improved in his second year but is still below average as a passer. The silver lining is that Maurice Jones-Drew is back and looks like he hasn't missed a beat.

Who will win this matchup in Week 4? Leave your comments below.