TNF Primer: Week Four Jags/Bengals

Updated: Oct 6, 2021

By: Little Italy (Publisher)

Follow on Twitter: @LILITALY853

Current DK Sports Book Line: Cincy (-7) 46.5 Total

The Homers:

The Bengals enter the week four TNF contest as a seven point home favorite. The Bengals have opened up this young season with a (2-1) record and a share of the AFC North lead. A lot of this early season success is due to the improvement to the offensive line and the play of their underrated defense. If the Bengals want to avoid this TNF trap game against the winless Jags they will have to continue to be productive on both sides of the ball. The jaguars come into week four with a defense that doesn’t really like to blitz, which means their sack rate is low (31st in the league), but they still get pressure on the QB (7th ranked in QB pressures), so the offensive line will need to be on their toes and protect their second year franchise QB.

The ground game should be heavily featured in this contest, ala, Joe Mixon, as the Bengals will look to control the pace of this contest via the ground game. I do fully expect the passing game to be utilized as well, especially with how well rookie first round pick Ja’Marr Chase has performed through the first three games of the season. Chase has found the end zone in every game on his way to four total receiving touchdowns. The jaguars secondary is in complete disarray and as an aging AJ Green and Christian Kirk showed last week, is a secondary that can be had quite easily. Not to mention they just traded away one of their better corners in CJ Henderson to the Panthers for a journeyman TE in Dan Arnold.

The Travelers:

Let me be honest and just say that Urban Meyer is not the answer here in the question of what is needed to right this sinking Jags ship? They are wasting the very important developmental years of their number one overall pick Trevor Lawrence. The play calling has been a head scratcher, as they seem to change identities more than an internet criminal. This lack of offensive direction has hurt T-Law as he ranks towards the bottom in most passing categories. Meyer needs to stop relying on trickery in his system and move to a more simplified passing attack. The Jags need to utilize the speed at the WR position to their advantage, meaning run short precise routes so that the rookie can see the play better and get the ball out quickly. By doing this he and the offense will develop nice chemistry and maybe be able to get a win to end the eighteen game losing streak they are currently riding, which started last season.


I went chalk last week and it worked out pretty well so rest assure I’m going chalk again. Joe Mixon is the play here this week as he is in an absolute smash spot. Like I stated above, the Bengals will be looking to control this game and you do that by defense and the ground game. Mixon has seen by far the most carries in this backfield, dominating 90% of the non-quarterback carry share. I like Mixon to see over 17 carries this week in a juicy matchup. Plug him into all lineups, especially showdown ones.


I fully expect the Bengals to get an easy win in this contest as history is in their favor. Seven point or more favorites entering TNF contests win about 60% of the time so I like those odds. I do not like this big spread though and will look to tease the Bengals down to (-1) while pairing with the Chiefs who I also suggest teasing down to (-1).(W)

Player Props to Target:


TNF Season Record: (10-10) 50%

Ja’ Marr Chase 64.5 Receiving Yards

-OVER- I have the rookie projected with 78 receiving yards in this contest and that is with Tee Higgins (who is questionable to play) seeing 50% of offensive snaps. Even if Higgins plays I feel Chase and his routes run per drop back stay close to 100%, as he seen 94%, 91%, and 100% the past three weeks. (W)

Joe Mixon 2.5 Receptions

-UNDER- Mixon has dominated carry share but has saw his routes run dip down to 41% over the past few weeks. He will take a back seat to the rookie Chris Evans who appears to be the new Gio in this offense. Mixon has had just two total receptions over the past two games, and with a game easily controlled will not need to be involved much in passing attack. (W)

Joe Mixon Anytime Touchdown

-Yes- I have Mixon projected with a 70% chance of scoring this week and would not be surprised if he found the end zone twice in this contest. (W)

Ja’Marr Chase Anytime Touchdown

-Yes- Like I stated above he has found the end zone in each of the three games played this season, and going against a putrid secondary I like the streak to continue.(L)

Trevor Lawrence 1.5 Interceptions

-OVER- The rookie has had at least two Interceptions in every game played this year. I don’t believe in Meyer helping his young QB so multiple picks are on tap yet again in week four. (L)

Marvin Jones Jr. 67.5 Receiving Yards

-UNDER- I have the favorite target of Lawrence projected with just 60.5 receiving yards in week four. He has come in under this total in each of the last two games (55 and 62). (W)

Laviska Shenault 4.5 Receptions

-UNDER- Shenault is still not playing at 100%, which will limit his ability in this contest. Over the past two weeks he has only accumulated two and four receptions the latter being my projection this week.(L)