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Bengals-Jets keys

BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Cincinnati RB

The Bengals proved last week they can still win with any real semblance of a running game, but it’s hardly an ideal blueprint. If Green-Ellis can have some early success against the league’s No. 2 rush defense, he could be in for a heavy workload, and the Bengals are 9-0 in their last nine games when Green-Ellis gets at least 15 carries.

Michael Johnson, Cincinnati DE

Though he has just 1.5 sacks this year after recording a career-high 11.5 in 2012, Johnson has still been putting a lot of pressure on opposing QBs. Against rookie Geno Smith and a Jets team that ranks 30th in the league with a minus-11 turnover margin, a litte pressure could go a long way.

Dre Kirkpatrick, Cincinnati CB

While Adam Jones is likely to get the start for the injured Leon Hall, Kirkpatrick will be counted on to play more snaps than he ever has, both in the slot and on the edge. This will be a big test to see how much the first-round pick has developed.

Antonio Cromartie, New York CB

Look for the Jets to use Cromartie in single coverage against A.J. Green, at least early. If Cromartie is successful on the league’s second-best run defense is able to contain Green-Ellis and Giovani Bernard, the day could turn into a grind for the Bengals offense.

Chris Ivory, New York RB

Bilal Powell is still listed as the starter, but Ivory had 34 carries last week and Powell, who is nowhere on the injury report, had just three. Ivory topped the 100-yard mark (104) for just the fourth time in his career, one of which came the last time he faced the Bengals as a member of the Saints.

Nick Mangold, New York C

The Dayton native and four-time Pro Bowler will have two tough jobs today. First, he will have to set protections against a good Bengals defense and deal with a loud Paul Brown Stadium crowd. Second he will have to deal with Cincinnati Pro Bowl defensive tackle Geno Atkins.

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