Bengals’ Chances of Beating Jets in AFC Wild Card Game

One of the two NFL wild card playoff matchups to be played this weekend will be the New York Jets visiting the Cincinnati Bengals. This will be an interesting game on many levels, and odds makers have a tight spread pegged, as the Bengals are projected to win by a mere 2 1/2 points.Why is the spread so tight when the Bengals clearly looked like the better team through the course of the season. Are we to believe that the Jets, who many believe shouldn’t have even made the playoffs, can cruise through this matchup to beat Cincinnati on their own turf?Well, one factor that needs to be acknowledged is the health of star wide receiver Chad Ochocinco. The revival of Ochocinco (formerly known as Chad Johnson) is believed by many to be a key factor in the bounce back year that Cincy enjoyed.After a disappointing 2008, Chad was back in full effect in 2009, posting 1,047 receiving yards and 9 touchdown catches. He was the team’s best receiver by far.Unfortunately, he hurt his knee during last Sunday’s matchup at New York against the Jets while the teams were warming up. The injury has been called a bruise, and it clearly affected him on Sunday. In fact, he wasn’t even able to play.The good news is that he practiced fully this week and appears to be ready to play. The chemistry between Ochocinco and quarterback Carson Palmer could very well be a major factor in the team’s success against the Jets on Saturday.With a 6-2 home record, Cincinnati is just about as strong as any football team in the league at home. This bodes well for the franchise. They’ve also had a rough last few seasons, so you can be sure that the fans will be full of energy and fully behind their team on Saturday.The key to the team’s success will be the ability to penetrate the dangerous Jets defense. If Carson Palmer is on top of his game, anything is possible.