Cincinnati, OH – There’s a silver lining Jets fans. If the team follows suit, they’ll have an awesome last minute win next week. Around 4:00 pm next week, those daydreams about the playoffs will reemerge. I guess I can’t promise this… they are facing the Saints… but the pattern of win big, then lose big continues. Today’s loss though was the most gruesome of the season. Just in time for Halloween…The colors orange and black were all up in your face.(I’m sure my theme here won’t be unique among Jets beat writers.)
Going into this game the Jets were the 4th ranked defense and the Bengals were number 9. It looked like those rankings should be switched in the Jets 49-9 loss to the Cincinnatti Bengals. (Actually, it looked more like the Jets D should rank toward the bottom of the NFL in this one.)
The secondary looked terrible. They were truly tested today. Rookie Dee Milliner was benched for the second time this season. He was targeted 5 times and allowed 4 completions for 108 yards before making his way to the sideline. The first round pick was first benched during week two against the Patriots for mental mistakes. Today, Rex said it’s because “physically Milliner wasn’t getting it done.” But he wasn’t the only one. “We have a ProBowl corner that wasn’t getting it done either,” Rex said referring to Antonio Cromartie, who has underwhelmed so far this season. “There wasn’t one guy out there on the field or on the sideline that was having a good day,” Rex said. Darn right. Darrin Walls (who filled in for Milliner), Dawan Landry and Jaiquawn Jarrett each allowed a touchdown pass.
The pass rush also stunk. When the Jets front 7 doesn’t get to the quarterback and he has plenty of time, the weak secondary is especially obvious…and they made Andy Dalton look like an elite QB. The Jets defense allowed 323 passing yards. It was Dalton’s third straight game with over 300 yards. Rex pointed out multiple times during the post-game press conference that the Bengals are a very good team.
Going into this game, A.J. Green was the receiver being feared, but it was Marvin Jones who had four touchdowns. The Jets couldn’t readjust and stop the bleeding.
Offensively, the Jets also struggled. Let’s start with the inconsistent rookie quarterback Geno Smith. When you think back on this game, you’re not going to think of him as the weakest link. You’re going to think it was a poor performance, but this will be the game you remember your beloved Rex Ryan defense disappointing you.
Geno came away from this game with a 51.9% passer rating. He completed 20 of 30 passes, took one sack, threw for 159 yards and 2 pick six. He was benched towards the beginning of the fourth quarter to allow Matt Simms his chance against the Bengals. This could’ve been Rex’s way of saying the QB competition is still open (it never officially closed, right?) or most likely it was Rex protecting Geno’s psyche, and from a possible injury in the middle of the massacre.
We knew how critical it was going to be to protect Geno from the Bengals’ dominant defensive line. But the offensive line didn’t cut it. It’s ironic that the guy who took Geno down more than anyone else goes by the same name. Bengals defensive tackle Geno Atkins, has more sacks than any other interior lineman in the league since 2010. Atkins added to his count with one sack today and 3 QB hits.
There’s one player who has been consistently showing up for the Jets. That’s kicker Nick Folk, who hasn’t missed a single field goal this season. He’s 17-of-17 and was the only player to put points on the field today.
At least the game of horror came at the appropriate time this year, because it was especially horrible when it fell on Thanksgiving. What a paradox.