Kickoff: 1 p.m. Eastern.
Television: The game will air on CBS-TV. In Cincinnati, it will be carried by WKRC-TV (Ch. 12). Broadcasters are Spero Dedes (play-by-play) and Adam Archuleta (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 this week host the N.Y. Jets on Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium. Cincinnati is still in search of its first win of the season, after falling 16-10 to the Pittsburgh Steelers at home last week.
"Crushing," said Bengals head coach Zac Taylor of his team's narrow loss. "Our guys fought tooth and nail until the last whistle, and for that not to go in our favor kills the guys in our locker room. We felt like we could win that game. "It's just defeating to lose. Period. I don't really care about the stats or the records. When you're competitive and you've put everything you've got into it, losing is the worst feeling there is."
Less than 24 hours after Sunday's score went final, Taylor announced at his Monday news conference that Andy Dalton will return to the starting QB role this Sunday against the Jets. Dalton, the Bengals' all-time leader in career passer rating (88.0), 300-yard passing games (27) and winning percentage as a starter (.539; 68-58-2), started the first eight games of the season before moving to a reserve role during Cincinnati's Week 9 bye. Rookie Ryan Finley, a fourth-round pick of the Bengals in May, started Games 9-11 but failed to find the win column.
"It's in the best interest of this football team to do this and get Andy back out there," Taylor said. "We're going to face some good defenses these next couple of weeks. They present a lot of challenges, and we feel like he's going to give us the opportunity to win the game."
Although Cincinnati is still winless on the season, the team has shown marked improvement in several areas since Oct. 27, when Andy Dalton last took the field. Perhaps the most significant improvement has been the team's rushing attack, which has averaged 5.0 yards per attempt (416 yards on 83 carries) over the last three weeks, after averaging just 2.9 through the first seven games. HB Joe Mixon, who led the AFC in rushing a year ago (1168 yards) but was averaging just 36.3 yards per game heading into Dalton's last start, has averaged 93 yards on the ground over the last three weeks, good for the third-most rushing yards (279) and second-most carries (63) in the NFL over that span.
The Bengals' defense has also shown recent improvement. Cincinnati has held each of its last two opponents under 20 points, and has allowed just one TD in the last six quarters. The defense also has six sacks over the last two weeks, after taking five games to reach the six-sack mark earlier this season.
Outside of a 79-yard TD pass by the Steelers, the improvement of the Bengals' defense was on full display last week. Cincinnati recorded three sacks (with four additional QB hits) and an INT, and held Pittsburgh to five-of-16 (31 percent) on third downs, while allowing zero TDs on four Steelers trips to the red zone.
The Jets enter Sunday's contest on a three-game winning streak, and stand 4-7 on the season after earning a lopsided 34-3 win over the Oakland Raiders last week.
The series: The Jets lead, 17-9, including 2-0 in first-round playoff games in Cincinnati in the 1982 and 2009 seasons. The Bengals lead 6-5 in all games played between the two teams in Cincinnati.
The Bengals have won the last two meetings, 49-9 at Cincinnati in 2013, and 23-22 at New York in '16. That most recent win at MetLife Stadium in '16 was the Bengals' first victory over the Jets in New York since 1981.
Bengals-Jets connections: Jets DL Jordan Willis was originally a third-round draft pick of the Bengals in 2017, and was with Cincinnati through the 2019 preseason ... Jets RB Le'Veon Bell is from Reynoldsburg, Ohio (Groveport Madison High School) ... Bengals LS Clark Harris is from Manahawkin, N.J., and played at Rutgers University ... Jets RB Bilal Powell, LB James Burgess and WR Josh Bellamy (Reserve/Injured) all played at the University of Louisville ... Jets LB Tarell Basham played at Ohio University ... Jets WR Josh Malone (practice squad) was originally a fourth-round draft pick of the Bengals in 2017, and was with Cincinnati through the 2019 preseason ... Bengals OT Wyatt Miller (practice squad) was a college free agent signee of the Jets in May, and was with the team through the preseason ... Jets LB Avery Williamson (Reserve/Injured) played at the University of Kentucky ... Jets offensive line coach Frank Pollack was offensive line coach for the Bengals in 2018 ... Bengals defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo is from Staten Island, N.Y., attended Wagner College, and coached at Wagner (1990) and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy ('89-90, '92-94) ... Bengals linebackers coach Tem Lukabu is from Avenel, N.J., played (2000-03) and coached ('14) at Colgate University, and coached at Rutgers University ('06-07, '10-11) ... Bengals assistant quarterbacks coach Dan Pitcher is from Cortland, N.Y., played QB at Cortland State from 2008-11, and then coached at Cortland State in '12 ... Bengals assistant offensive line coach Ben Martin coached at Wagner College in 2013, and at Union College from '16-17 ... Bengals assistant strength and conditioning coach Todd Hunt is from Stamford, Conn.
Dalton returns to starting role: On Nov. 25, the day after his team fell 16-10 to the Pittsburgh Steelers, Bengals head coach Zac Taylor announced at his news conference that Andy Dalton would return to the starting QB role for Game 12 vs. the N.Y. Jets.
Dalton replaces Ryan Finley, who had previously replaced Dalton during the Bengals' Week 9 bye. Finley started three games, and passed 41 of 87 for 474 yards, with two TDs and two INTs.
Dalton, who has not played since Game 8 against the L.A. Rams in London, started Cincinnati's first eight games and passed 204 of 338 for 2252 yards, nine TDs and eight INTs. He also rushed 14 times for 55 yards and three TDs.
Dalton, Kenny tied for TD lead: Andy Dalton currently has 197 career passing TDs, tied with longtime Bengals QB Ken Anderson for the most in team history. Dalton tied Anderson in his last start — Game 8 against the L.A. Rams in London — and now stands ready to take over first place with his next TD pass.
Dalton briefly passed Anderson against the Rams, when he found WR Auden Tate for a TD with eight seconds left in the game. But the score was taken off the board after replay review deemed it an incompletion.
Dalton has played in 128 regular season games over nine Bengals seasons, while Anderson played in 192 games over 16 seasons.
T.B. chasing 100: With just five games to go in the 2019 season, WR Tyler Boyd remains in position to make a run at becoming just the third Bengal ever to catch 100 passes in a single season. Former Bengals WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh caught a team-record 117 passes in 2007, while WR Carl Pickens' 100 catches in 1996 count as the only other instance of a Bengal reaching the 100-catch plateau.
Boyd currently has 63 catches, and is on pace for 91 grabs by season's end. He would need to average 7.4 catches over the final five games to reach 100 receptions. By comparison, Pickens had 67 catches through 11 games in 1996, while Houshmandzadeh had 83 in 2007.
Bengals look to get Joe clicking: While Bengals HB Joe Mixon hasn't yet found the form that helped earn him the AFC rushing crown last season (more info in "Joe looks to regain 2018 form"), head coach Zac Taylor has alluded several times this season to the coaching staff's effort to involve him more heavily in the offense. That's likely a good idea, because as history shows, the Bengals have been tough to beat when Mixon is heavily involved.
The Bengals are 6-2 since Mixon's 2017 rookie season when has at least 20 carries, and 3-3 when he has at least 100 rushing yards. The Bengals are 6-7 when he reaches 100 total yards. Mixon this season has reached 100 total yards three times, 100 rushing yards once and 20 carries once, but the Bengals are winless in those games.
Dunlap, Atkins neck-and-neck in career sacks: Just a half sack separates Bengals DT Geno Atkins (75.5 career sacks) and DE Carlos Dunlap (75), who rank second and third, respectively, on Cincinnati's all-time sack list behind all-time leader Eddie Edwards (83.5). And now that Edwards' record is within sight, the race is on to see which player catches him first.
Atkins, who missed nearly half of the 2013 season with a torn ACL, has more than double the number of sacks of the next-closest interior defensive lineman in Bengals history (Tim Krumrie, 34.5). Atkins has a team-high 4.5 sacks this season, including two multi-sack performances — Game 7 vs. Jacksonville (two), and Game 10 at Oakland (1.5). Last season, he had a team-high 10 sacks, the third-highest single-season sack total of his career (he had a career-high 12.5 in 2012, and 11 in '15). Atkins has finished with at least a share of the NFL lead for sacks by an interior lineman five times in nine NFL seasons, including in three of the last four years (see "Geno looks to re-claim his crown").
Dunlap, a two-time Pro Bowler (2015 and '16) who turned 30 after the '18 season, has just 2.5 sacks this season, due in part to a knee injury that caused him to miss Games 6-7. Dunlap averaged 8.1 sacks over his first nine NFL seasons, while Edwards averaged just under seven over 12 seasons. In 2015, Dunlap set a career-high in sacks, with 13.5, the second-most in Bengals history.