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Bengals Host Jaguars In Week 4

Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Chris Conley (18) is tackled by Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Germaine Pratt (57) in the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Gary Landers)
Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Chris Conley (18) is tackled by Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Germaine Pratt (57) in the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Gary Landers)

Kickoff: 1 p.m. Eastern.

Television: The game will air on CBS-TV. In the Bengals' home region, it will be carried by WKRC-TV (Ch. 12) in Cincinnati, WHIO-TV (Ch. 7) in Dayton and on WKYT-TV (Ch. 27) in Lexington. Broadcasters are Tom McCarthy (play-by-play) and Jay Feely (analyst).

Radio: The game will air on the Bengals Radio Network, led by Cincinnati flagship stations WLW-AM (700), WCKY-AM (ESPN 1530; all sports) and WEBN-FM (102.7). Broadcasters are Dan Hoard (play-by-play) and Dave Lapham (analyst).

Setting the scene: The Bengals return home to face the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday, and will be in search of their first win of the season. The game will be played at Paul Brown Stadium in front of a limited capacity, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last week, Cincinnati played to a 23-23 tie with the Philadelphia Eagles. Both teams had opportunities to seal a win in regulation or overtime, but neither could convert and the game ended in a deadlock.

"We didn't win," said Bengals rookie QB Joe Burrow after the game. "That's all it is to me. If you don't win, you lose. It'll never be about momentum or positive experiences to me. I'm about winning. I expect to win. I know we all expect to win. There are no moral victories around here."

The game was the second tie in just 14 matchups between the Bengals and Eagles, with the other coming in a 13-13 decision at Paul Brown Stadium in 2008. Cincinnati now has five ties in its history.

Burrow, who was making his third career start, threw for 312 yards and two TDs — both to fellow rookie Tee Higgins — and posted his first career 100-plus passer rating. Higgins' two-score day was the first multi-TD performance by a Bengals rookie since Jeremy Hill in 2014, and he became just the fifth Bengals rookie ever to record at least two receiving TDs in a game.

Cincinnati held a lead the entire fourth quarter, until Eagles QB Carson Wentz scrambled seven yards for a TD with 21 seconds remaining, sending the game into OT. Neither offense was able to muster much offensive momentum in the extra period, and the game appeared to hinge on what would have been a 59-yard FG attempt by the Eagles with 19 seconds remaining. But a false start pushed the would-be FG try to 64 yards, so Eagles head coach Doug Pederson instead chose to punt deep into Bengals territory. Cincinnati took over possession at its own 11-yard line

Taylor, though, remains confident that his team is close to the win column. His team stands at 0-2-1 on the season, but the three games have been decided by a combined eight points.

This week, Cincinnati will face a Jacksonville team that features familiar faces. Jaguars TE Tyler Eifert was a 2013 first-round pick of the Bengals, and was with the team through last season. And Jaguars offensive coordinator Jay Gruden held the same position in Cincinnati from 2011-13, when he helped steer a young Bengals offense to three straight playoff appearances.

Jacksonville enters Sunday's matchup 1-2, after a 31-13 loss last Thursday to the Miami Dolphins.

The series: The Jaguars lead 13-9, but the Bengals have won four of the last six meetings. The Bengals also won two of the last three meetings at Paul Brown Stadium. The Jaguars have won the two most recent meetings, 23-7 in Jacksonville in 2017, and 27-17 in Cincinnati in '19. The Jaguars' win last season was their first in Cincinnati since 2002. The Bengals lead 6-5 overall as the home team.

The Bengals and Jaguars were rivals in the AFC Central Division from 1995 through 2001, playing twice each season. This week's game is their ninth meeting since the 2002 realignment that put Cincinnati in the AFC North and Jacksonville in the AFC South. The series is tied 4-4 since the realignment.

Joe makes history in first three starts: Bengals rookie QB Joe Burrow this year has posted the most passing attempts (141) and completions (91) of any NFL QB ever in their first three games. Burrow's 821 passing yards are also eighth-most ever for an NFL QB in their first three games. Burrow's attempts and completions totals both rank second in the NFL this season, behind Cowboys QB Dak Prescott (143 and 96).

It should be noted that Burrow's lofty totals can be attributed at least in part to the Bengals playing a full overtime period on Sept. 27 at Philadelphia (resulted in a tie). Cincinnati's first two games this season — Sept. 13 vs. the L.A. Chargers, and Sept. 17 at Cleveland — also both featured pass-heavy Bengals comeback attempts in the final two minutes.

Wilson leads NFL in KOR average: Bengals S Brandon Wilson burst onto the scene last season as one of the NFL's top kickoff returners, and he has continued that momentum into 2020. Wilson currently boasts a 39.0-yard average on kickoff returns this season, five yards better than the next-best qualifier (Baltimore's Devin Duvernay, 34.0). Three of Wilson's four kickoff returns this season have gone for more than 40 yards.

Wilson began 2019 not even listed on Cincinnati's depth chart at KOR. But injuries at the position thrust him into the role in Game 5 vs. Arizona, and he never looked back. The next game, he returned the opening kickoff for a TD. He ended up missing the final four games of 2019 due to a right hand injury, but not before he racked up an NFL-best 31.3-yard average on kickoff returns (20 returns, 625 yards, one TD), good for the second-best single-season mark in team history. That average came despite Wilson holding the No. 1 KOR spot for just eight games.

T.B. chasing T.J.: Although it's still early in the 2020 season, WR Tyler Boyd has already positioned himself to make a run at former Bengals WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh's team record for receptions in a season. Houshmandzadeh's 112 catches in 2007 stand as the top mark in team history, with WR Carl Pickens' 100 in 1996 counting as the only other instance of a Bengal reaching the 100-catch plateau.

Boyd so far this season has 21 catches, good for a seven-catch-per-game pace which, projected out to a full 16 game slate, would match Houshmandzadeh's 112. Houshmandzadeh had 29 catches through three games in 2007, and Pickens had 18. Boyd needs to maintain a pace of 6.1 catches over the remaining 13 games in order to reach 100 for the season.

Boyd's 21 catches this year currently stand tied for second in the AFC and tied for sixth league wide.

That didn't take long: Bengals rookie WR Tee Higgins, the team's second round pick in April's draft, turned heads in just his second career start by notching his first career multi-TD game. Higgins' two TDs grabs on Sept. 27 at Philadelphia made him the first NFL rookie this year with a multi-TD game, and the first Bengal rookie to reach pay dirt twice since HB Jeremy Hill in 2014.

Higgins also now stands as one of only five Bengal rookies ever to catch at least two TDs in a game, and the first to do it as early as September. The others are WRs Mohamed Sanu (Nov. 25, 2012 vs. Oakland), Darnay Scott (Oct. 30, 1994 vs. Dallas), Cris Collinsworth (Nov. 29, 1981 at Cleveland), and Isaac Curtis (Dec. 9, 1973 vs. Cleveland, and Dec. 16, 1973 at Houston).

Bullock approaching team record: If Bengals K Randy Bullock makes his next two FG attempts, he will surpass former Bengal Shayne Graham for the top career percentage on FGs in team history. Bullock has converted 86.52 percent (77 of 89) of his FG attempts since joining Cincinnati in mid-2016, just shy of Graham's record 86.76 percent (177 of 204). Graham was with the Bengals from 2003-09.

Bullock has made eight of his nine FG attempts this season, good for a .889 percentage that ranks tied for second in the NFL (minimum one FG attempt per game). His 30 points so far this season rank tied for fifth in the NFL, and his 14 touchbacks rank tied for sixth.

Bengals roll when Mixon hits 20 carries: The Bengals hold a 7-5 record when HB Joe Mixon reaches the 20-carry mark. And in those 12 games, Mixon has topped 100 rushing yards eight times. Seven of his last eight 20-carry games have resulted in 100-yard rushing performances.

Mixon has yet to hit the 20-carry mark this season, but the Bengals were 2-3 in 2019 when he reached it. Mixon's last 20-carry game was the 2019 season finale vs. Cleveland, when he rushed for a career-high 162 yards on 26 attempts.

25 points does the trick: Since 2011, the Bengals own a 47-3-2 record (.923) when scoring 25 or more points. Only Miami has a better winning percentage, at .949 (36-2-0), when topping the 25-point mark over that span. The Bengals, though, are 1-2 under head coach Zac Taylor when reaching the 25-point plateau, with an OT loss last year to Miami and a Week 2 loss at Cleveland this season.