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Jets' offensive line faces tough task in protecting Geno Smith from Bengals' defense

  • 72a17f0d6186c323400f6a7067002d40.jpg

    New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith (7) is sacked by New England Patriots' Chris Jones, right, during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 20, 2013, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)The Associated Press

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    New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith (7) celebrates with New York Jets' Willie Colon (66) and Nick Mangold (74) after rushing for a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 20, 2013 in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)The Associated Press

The New York Jets' offensive linemen know they face a big challenge Sunday in protecting quarterback Geno Smith from the Cincinnati Bengals' aggressive and sack-happy defense.

The Bengals have 18 sacks this season, which ranks them in the middle of the pack in the NFL. But they're a disruptive group up front, led by defensive tackle Geno Atkins. Cincinnati also ranks eighth in the league against the run, which could force Smith to make plays in the passing game.

Right guard Willie Colon says the Bengals have a defense that requires the Jets to bring "your hard hat."

Rookie left guard Brian Winters likely will go up against Atkins for most of the game. But Colon says he just needs to "knuckle up and get ready to go."

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AP NFL website: http://www.pro32.ap.org