Friday, January 8, 2010
AFC East Final Word: Jets-Bengals
By Tim Graham
Three nuggets of knowledge about Saturday's Jets-Bengals wild-card playoff game:
Darrelle Revis shut down Chad Ochocinco in their last meeting and made it look easy.
Darrelle Revis will eliminate Chad Ochocinco again. When the Bengals have the ball, the game will be 10 on 10. Revis, the lockdown cornerback and defensive player of the year candidate, was on Ochozilcho like static cling Sunday night. When the Bengals were trying to win in the first half, quarterback Carson Palmer threw to his top receiver four times without success. Ochocinco finished the game without a reception for the first time since opening day 2002. Revis made it look effortless.
Mark Sanchez or Brad Smith needs to loosen up Cincinnati's defense early. Readers of this blog know my stance on what happens to the Jets' chances to win once Sanchez starts throwing downfield. But the Jets still need to give the Bengals something to fear other than the run. The best ways to do that will be to venture a couple deep shots while the game still is scoreless or to hit a big play with receiver Brad Smith taking the snaps out of the pistol formation.
The Jets aren't Super Bowl favorites, but they're not first on anybody's playoff opponent wish list. Las Vegas installed the Jets as 50-to-1 long shots. Jets coach Rex Ryan responded by declaring his team not only should be held in higher regard, but also should be the favorites because of their No. 1 rushing attack and No. 1 defense. While I don't agree with Ryan, I'm closer to taking his side than I am the oddsmakers in my former hometown. The Jets have a scary ability to neutralize, especially if the game is being played outdoors.