One of the real advantages the Jets gained Sunday night was based on the success of the Brad Smith Tiger package. Smith ran all over the Bengals. Cincy probably had to dedicate more time than it wanted to figuring out how to stop it. Brad's open field running was only half the reason for the success.
The offensive line absolutely dominated early in the game Sunday. Gang Green knocked Cincinnati's run defense from number 2 to number 7. It will be a different look up front this Saturday. Cincy will return Robert Geathers and Domata Peko to the lineup. Tank Johnson's gimpy foot should be better. Brandon Moore in particular had a big game against Johnson. He'll have to do it again. Nick Mangold will need to handle Peko. Damien Woody will have to handle Geathers.
Tony Richardson will need to play as well as he did in the first meeting. The Bengals have excellent run defending linebackers even without Rey Maualuga, who is on the shelf with a broken ankle. Dhani Jones, Keith Rivers, and Rashad Jeanty start with Jones lining up inside. Of course, the normal eight in the box will be a prominent part of the opposing defense's game plan. Richarson also might have to help on Chinedum Ndukwe, who was the second leading tackler on Cincy's roster with 89.
This is a game where the Jets may need to lean on Shonn Greene. The Bengals have a physical defense, and Greene was more effective in the first game than Thomas Jones. His power gives him a better chance of grinding out tough yardage. The coaching staff seemed to ride Greene until he fumbled. The Jets need him to have a big game. Shonn absolutely cannot put the ball on the ground.
Of course, Smith lingers. The Jets will go back to him and hope he makes men miss for a few big plays. He's the homerun threat who might help steal a road Playoff win.