- Rich Cimini, ESPN Staff Writer
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CINCINNATI -- Overshadowed by the pitiful performance by the New York Jets' defense was another stinker by the offense. They were held to only three field goals in the 49-9 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, the second time in three games the Jets failed to score a touchdown.
We're starting to detect a trend.
The Jets have proven they can score points against the middling to lower-end defenses, but they have produced only 28 points against the three opponents with top-10 defenses -- Cincinnati Bengals, Pittsburgh Steelers and Tennessee Titans.
Against the Bengals, the Jets failed to penetrate inside the opponents' 27-yard line. They were controlled at the line of scrimmage (backup QB Matt Simms was the leading rusher) and the only receiver who got open was David Nelson, whom they recently plucked off the scrap heap. Jeremy Kerley, coming off a career game, was held to a quiet three catches. Stephen Hill has been invisible for weeks. In the last five games, he has only 10 receptions for 107 yards and no touchdowns. Bengals WR Marvin Jones had almost as many receiving yards (122) as the Jets' top three wideouts.
Then, of course, there's rookie quarterback Geno Smith, who handed the Bengals 14 points with two interceptions for touchdowns. That makes three in the last two weeks. The last quarterback to throw three pick-sixes in a two-game span was Peyton Manning in 2010, according to Elias. Smith made a couple of mental errors early in the game, failing to read two safety blitzes that resulted in sacks. He's an enigma. You see the potential, but he has 13 interceptions, including nine in the Jets' four losses.
The Jets don't have an abundance of talent, so it's unrealistic to expect the "Greatest Show on Turf." But they also shouldn't be performing like a bunch of clowns at the circus.
ICYMI: Rex Ryan's defense stunk Sunday, as Andy Dalton threw five touchdown passes -- the first quarterback since Dan Marino in 1988 to torch them for a five spot. ... Smith was yanked for the first time in his career. He called it "upsetting." ... Bengals CB Adam (Pacman) Jones said he was victimized by cheap shots from WR David Nelson. Jones shared his thoughts with Ryan, who told him to shut up, according to Jones. ... Rookie CB Dee Milliner had a bad day and was benched -- yes, again. His tally: Four starts, two in-game benchings.