NY Jets vs. Cincinnati Bengals: 3 key matchups to watch in Week 3

NY Jets, Sauce Gardner
NY Jets, Sauce Gardner / Nick Cammett/GettyImages
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3. Joe Flacco vs. the Bengals defense

Very quietly, the Bengals' defense, ranked 7th in the league, has played well enough in the opening two games to net their team victories. Defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo has done a good job with his unit.

It will be interesting to see how Cincinnati's defense attacks the New York Jets' offense. Cincy likes to play aggressive and trust their defensive backs.

Will the Bengals matchup Chidobe Awuzie against rising star wide receiver Garrett Wilson? A week ago, Awuzie had a great game — he was targeted eight times by Dallas, but only allowed three catches for a 45.8 opposing passer rating.

The Jets' other targets need to step up this week. Elijah Moore and former Bengals tight end C.J. Uzomah are due for big games. 

But the bottom line will be the performance of Joe Flacco. The veteran rightfully got his flowers last week for leading the Jets from the abyss, but is Sunday his final swan song as a starter for New York?

There are some pundits that are pushing for Flacco to remain the Jets starter, even when Zach Wilson returns. First things first, Flacco must retain the hot hand to add more fuel to that debate.

The Bengals will come after the grizzled vet in the pocket. They will test his mobility or lack thereof. A week ago, the Browns were over-reliant on getting after the veteran without sending extra pressure.

They relied on their elite edge rushers to get to Flacco, but he stood tall in the pocket and delivered big throws. Expect a different defensive approach from Cincinnati.

Next. 7 takeaways from the NY Jets' improbable Week 2 victory over the Browns. dark

Does Flacco have more stuff left in his basement? If he does, the Jets might go over .500 for the first time since Week 2 of 2018.