New York Jets: Stopping Joe Mixon is the key to avoiding a trap game

New York Jets (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
New York Jets (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

The New York Jets are set to take on the winless Cincinnati Bengals this week. And if they want to avoid the upset, they must do what they can to limit Joe Mixon.

The New York Jets have somehow managed to revive what was previously a lost season with three straight victories. And on paper, a fourth victory in a row should be in order when the Jets travel to Paul Brown Stadium to take on the Cincinnati Bengals.

The Jets are fresh off a dominant blowout victory over the previously 6-4 Oakland Raiders while the Bengals lost to a Pittsburgh Steelers team that completed just 13-of-27 passes split between two different quarterbacks.

But as we all know, anything could happen in this sport. Especially when it comes to the Jets.

And if the Jets want to avoid a potential trap game, they’re going to have to do everything they can to prevent running back Joe Mixon from getting going on the ground.

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Make no mistake about it, this Bengals team isn’t going to just roll over on Sunday. More than half of their 11 losses this season have come by one score and they’ve been competitive in just about all of them.

The Jets should win on Sunday, but it’s far from a guarantee.

If the Bengals are going to find success, they’re going to need to ride the momentum of Mixon who has tallied a few impressive performances in a row after a sluggish start to the season.

Mixon has rushed for 279 yards in his last three games including averages of over 4.3 in his last two. The Bengals have managed to remain competitive which has allowed Mixon to receive plenty of carries.

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Unfortunately, their abysmal quarterback play has ultimately held the offense back.

But with Andy Dalton back under center, the Bengals can at least claim to have a competent quarterback leading the offense as opposed to rookie Ryan Finley who was clearly overwhelmed.

And if the Bengals can ride Mixon’s hot streak and get him going early, they may be able to find some semblance of success on offense.

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That’s why it’s imperative that the Jets stop the Bengals run game and do so early on. The Jets have the No. 1 run defense in football from both a yards-per-game and yards-per-carry standpoint.

Gregg Williams’ has done a phenomenal job maximizing his front-seven talent with the likes of Folorunso Fatukasi, Nathan Shepherd, and Neville Hewitt — just to name a few — all having career years.

Of course, the presence of Jamal Adams has remained crucial as the All-Pro safety is playing the best football of his career at the moment. And against a porous Bengals offensive line, he should be able to wreak havoc.

The Jets were given a true test when they were tasked with halting rookie Josh Jacobs last week. They responded with limiting the star running back to just 34 yards — the lowest single-game total of his career.

Mixon has been held under 60 yards just twice since Week 2 and if the Jets could limit him as they did to Jacobs, then Sunday’s game should be a foregone conclusion.

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The Jets are the better team and they should win on Sunday. And if they can stop Mixon, they should have no trouble cruising to their fourth straight victory.