- Rich Cimini, ESPN Staff Writer
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1. The Idzik 12 (now 10): It hasn’t been a smooth summer for John Idzik’s 12-man draft class, beset by injuries, but some of the rookies stood out in Cincinnati. Safety Calvin Pryor was the star, recording two tackles for loss, two pass breakups and one fumble recovery. He played a team-high 48 defensive snaps, showing he deserves more time with the starters. Tight end Jace Amaro made two nice catches (no drops), prompting Rex Ryan to say, “He kind of reminded me of Ditka.” Funny, Rex. It wasn’t a flawless night for Amaro, who appeared to be the guilty party on a 12-man penalty. Pass rusher IK Enemkpali recorded his second strip sack in as many games, also contributing a blocked punt on special teams. He’s making it difficult for the coaches to cut him.
2. Demario Davis: The linebacker’s versatility was on full display. He showed his explosiveness as a blitzer, shooting a gap and recording a strip sack. That set up the Jets’ first touchdown. Later, Davis showed he’s adept in pass coverage, tipping away a pass some 10 to 15 yards from the line of scrimmage. This has all the signs of a breakout season for Davis.
3. Chris Johnson: He showed some of his old burst, getting around the corner on a couple of well-blocked running plays. On another play, he lined up wide and got the ball on an end around. Johnson finished with 63 yards on 10 carries, much of his production coming out of the pistol formation. This was a big step in the right direction for Johnson and the entire running game, which amassed 169 yards.
1. The starting secondary: This probably won't be the group that will line up Sept. 7 against the Oakland Raiders -- a silver lining -- but there’s still reason for concern. Andy Dalton was 8-for-8, throwing for 144 yards and a touchdown. Safety-turned-cornerback Antonio Allen, nickelback Kyle Wilson and safety Dawan Landry were involved in some of the big plays. We’re mixing apples and oranges here, but in his last five quarters against the Jets (counting last season’s 49-9 drubbing), Dalton has passed for 469 yards.
2. The Fight Crew: Offensive linemen Brian Winters, Breno Giacomini and Willie Colon combined for seven penalties for 90 yards, plus one declined. In 39 snaps, Winters was flagged four times -- two holding calls for 20 yards, unnecessary roughness for 15 and unsportsmanlike conduct for 15. In a surprise, he came off the bench, with Oday Aboushi getting the start at left guard. Ryan said he wanted to give Aboushi, who has played other spots in camp, a good look at left guard. Clearly, Winters, Colon and Giacomini wanted to set a tone against the chippy Bengals, but they have to play smarter in the regular season.
3. Tajh Boyd: This was a rough one. Even Ryan, Boyd’s biggest supporter, had to acknowledge the struggles of the rookie quarterback. “Tajh is a better player than that,” Ryan said. “We just have to get him going. Come on, kid. I’ve seen him play way better.” Boyd missed easy throws, completing only one of five attempts for six yards. His bid for a roster spot is fading.