Two of the NFL’s most promising, young quarterbacks will square off Thursday night as Week 4 of the 2021 season gets underway.
Trevor Lawerence and the Jacksonville Jaguars are set to visit Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals for a primetime tilt at Paul Brown Stadium. This obviously isn’t the most exciting of matchups, but you can enhance your viewing experience by taking part in NESN Games’ “Thursday Night NFL Challenge.”
The task is simple: Make eight picks for the Jaguars-Bengals contest and hope your slate of answers tops the leaderboard. The contestant who records a perfect score will get a $25 Amazon gift card with a total passing yard tiebreaker.
Let’s take a look at the picks.
Spread: Cincinnati -7.5
The Bengals’ 2-1 record matches its against-the-spread mark, but they were underdogs in all of their first three games. Jacksonville has yet to pick up an ATS win this season. The Jags were 3.5-point favorites for their Week 1 loss to the Houston Texans, and they weren’t able to cover as 6- and 8-point dogs against the Denver Broncos and the Arizona Cardinals, respectively.
Over/under (including overtime): 46.5
Jacksonville only has eclipsed the 20-point threshold once this season, and it was by a hair in Week 1 when it put up 21 against Houston. Cincinnati is averaging a shade under 23 points per game through three contests.
Ja’Marr Chase receiving yards: over/under 63.5 yards
Chase has stormed out of the gate to start his NFL career. The fifth overall pick in this year’s draft racked up 101, 54 and 65 receiving yards against the Minnesota Vikings, Chicago Bears and Pittsburgh Steelers, respectively. The Jaguars currently are allowing the fifth-most passing yards per game.
Joe Burrow passing yards: over/under 249.5 yards
Burrow only exceeded 250 passing yards in one of Cincinnati’s first three games. But two of those mild performances came against fairly stout defenses in Chicago and Pittsburgh. The second-year pro arguably is better or on a level playing field as Tyrod Taylor (291 yards) and Teddy Bridgewater (328 yards), both of whom lit up Urban Meyer’s defense.
Marvin Jones Jr. receiving yards: over/under 62.5 yards
After going for 77 yards in the Jags’ opener, Jones notched 55 and 62 yards against the Broncos and Cardinals, respectively. The Bengals through three games have allowed six performances 63-plus receiving yards.
Jones shouldn’t have to worry about targets, though, as he’s averaging nearly 10 per game.
Trevor Lawrence passing yards: over/under 256.5 yards
Lawrence racked up 332 yards against the Texans in Week 1, but many of those were empty. He put up a mere 118 against Denver and 219 against Arizona.
That said, Cincinnati just last week allowed a well-past-his-prime Ben Roethlisberger to throw for 318 yards.
First scoring play: Touchdown, field goal or other
A touchdown served as the first scoring play in all six of the combined games that the Jaguars and the Bengals have played to date.
Highest-scoring quarter: First, second, third, fourth or equal
The second quarter saw the most points in two of Cincinnati’s first three games. Jacksonville has yet to see a repeat of a highest-scoring quarter.