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Thursday Night Football Week 4

Week 4 of the NFL season kicks off tonight with the Cincinnati Bengals (2-1) and the Jacksonville Jaguars (0-3). Both teams are in the midst of a rebuild and it will be a good time to see who has made more progress.

The Bengals are in their fourth season under head coach Zac Taylor and off to their most promising start in years. They have already beaten Minnesota and Pittsburgh but somehow lost to Chicago. Inconsistent results like that are expected in a rebuild, so it will be interesting to see which version of the Bengals shows up.

Running back Joe Mixon looks primed for another 1000 yard rushing season and quarterback Joe Burrow is off to a great start with his young receiving corps. The offensive line would worry me against better defenses.

Receiver Tee Higgins is out for this game so rookie Ja'Marr Chase and veteran Tyler Boyd will be the main players to watch in the passing game.

Jacksonville is one of those teams that seems to be constantly rebuilding. The Jags are going into their fourth game under former legendary college coach Urban Meyer. Many have speculated about how long Meyer will stay in the NFL, and the question has been compounded with the slow start.

Jacksonville has not been particularly close and has only scored more than 20 points one time this season. First overall pick Trevor Lawrence has had the expected rookie struggles as he adjusts to the pro game. Marvin Jones and DJ Chark lead the team in receiving. However, it's really the porous defense that may cost the Jags in this one.

Adding intrigue to this matchup is the presence of both Burrow and Lawrence. The two are the most recent first overall picks and last faced each other in the 2019-20 National Championship. Burrow led an elite LSU team to the title while Lawrence and Clemson failed to repeat. Burrow has had the better pro career to this early point, but these two will be facing off for decades as two of the faces of the NFL.

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