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Sunday, January 3, 2010
Halftime hits from Bengals-Jets


EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The Cincinnati Bengals are doing a wonderful job of resting their offensive starters.

The New York Jets have put together a domineering performance so far in Sunday night's must-win game. The Jets are well on their way to closing out Giants Stadium with a victory and clinching a wild-card berth, leading the Bengals 27-0 at halftime.

You'd barely be able to tell by looking at the box score, but Bengals coach Marvin Lewis supposedly did intend to win. The Bengals could have seized the AFC's No. 3 seed, but the stats of their offensive players are barely better than had they not put on a uniform.

But the Jets kept the ball for 24:50 in the first half, leaving the Bengals with 5:10. The Bengals managed one first down, and that was from a Jets penalty.

The Jets, meanwhile, were juggernauts. They've outgained the Bengals 250-7. Stop and stare at that number for a few seconds. That's just not right, people.

Jets receiver Brad Smith has rushed three times for 91 yards and a touchdown out of direct-snap formations.

What's been most impressive is that the Jets receivers are catching the ball. The same can't be said for Carson Palmer. He has a solitary completion on 11 tries, zero yards and one interception.

Bengals fans better hope it's not cold next week because Palmer's receivers haven't been able to hang onto it.

Chad Ochocino, who was talking big all week about his matchup with Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis, has zero receptions even though Palmer has gone to him several times. Ochocinco said before the game he would revert to Chad Johnson if Revis shut him out.

"If Revis shuts me down, I will change my name back to Johnson," Ochocinco said. "That’s how confident I am. It’s not happening."

Oh, it's happening.