The Bengals are in desperate need of a win, so much so that they strayed away from their Ryan Finley project and returned Andy Dalton to his role as the team's starting quarterback.
So he'll be taking on a Jets defense that has been shutting down offenses during this three-game win streak, and though he hasn't been getting the game reps he's used to these past three weeks, head coach Adam Gase knows his defense can't underestimate him.
"It's obviously something we have to be highly aware of," he told reporters before practice on Wednesday. "Andy's through the most part of his career has done a good job taking care of the football, putting the team in a good position as far as third and manageable situations. He sees the game well."
Dalton hasn't produced much with this anemic Bengals offense this season, throwing for only nine touchdowns with eight interceptions as well. But throwing 52 times in his last start against the Rams in Week 8, he totaled 329 yards and one touchdown to no interceptions.
He can certainly still sling it and the hope over in Cincinnati is that this change can generate something for their team. Before this current win streak, the Jets were also in a rut, though they did have one upset win over the Cowboys.
So he knows exactly where the Bengals are coming from right now.
"For us, we're 4-7. I mean, we were 1-7 not long ago. We had our struggles and things turned around a little bit for us. …They've played well. They just haven't won the game.
"We got to make sure we bring our A-game."
Here's what else Gase discussed on Wednesday....
C.J. Mosley has begun next progression in rehab
Another week, another update on linebacker C.J. Mosley.
Gase says Mosley has started another step in his rehab process that includes some running. However, there still isn't a true update on when -- or if -- he'll be returning.
"I think it was Monday they kinda started a different part of the program," Gase explained. "Some running, some other things that they're trying to do. So I haven't really gotten an update on that. I know they were going to go through this week and kinda see where he was."
Sam Darnold is working smarter -- not harder
Darnold has looked good throughout this win streak. He has thrown only one interception to seven touchdowns, while averaging about 65 percent completion on his throws.
But it isn't the numbers that impresses Gase the most. It's how Darnold is playing smart instead of trying to extend plays that just can't be developed.
"Him throwing the ball away, the decision-making I've been really impressed with," Gase said. "It's kinda hit him how to handle the situations instead of extending the play -- when to throw it away, when he can go make a play, when he can pull it down and make a run."
If Darnold can continue that trend, the offense should also continue seeing success like they did with 27 points this past Sunday.
Offense still needs some tweaks
Speaking of the offense, Gase has definitely liked how his unit has picked up recently. However, as any good coach would say, he's not entirely satisfied.
"I think it's closer to what we want," he said. "I think we have a lot of things we have to clean up. It helps when you start getting those explosive plays, it just shortens the drive up. I still think we have things to clean up in the run game, which can help a lot."