NFL Nation: 2013 Week 8 NYJ at CIN Rapid Reaction
October, 27, 2013
By Rich Cimini | ESPN.com
CINCINNATI -- A few thoughts on the New York Jets' 49-9 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium:
What it means: The Jets (4-4) fell two games behind the first-place New England Patriots with a continuation of their maddening inconsistency. They haven't won two in a row since Weeks 13 and 14 last season. You expect a team with modest talent to experience its share of ups and downs, but this was ridiculous. This was an absolute no-show, confirming this team can't handle prosperity. That's a significant flaw, and it goes on coach Rex Ryan. In their past three defeats, each following a victory, the Jets have lost by 15, 13 and 40 points. It was the second-most lopsided loss of the Ryan era. And they can't blame this one on Geno Smith's growing pains. The rookie quarterback threw two interceptions that were returned for touchdowns, but it already was a 28-3 blowout by the time he served up the first pick-six.
Stock watch: Quite simply, this was one of the worst defensive performances in the Ryan era. Fourth-ranked defense in the NFL? Gimme a break. The Jets were an embarrassment, surrendering four touchdowns in the first six possessions. Andy Dalton threw a career-high five touchdowns and passed for 325 yards -- and it could've been a lot worse, as the Bengals dropped three long passes. The Jets had no answer for receiver Marvin Jones, who set a franchise record with four touchdown catches. The Bengals outsmarted the Jets, using clever formations to create mismatches. Ryan never adjusted.
There was no pass rush, and the secondary was brutal. The worst offender was rookie cornerback Dee Milliner, who was benched in the second quarter after allowing four receptions for 108 yards, including a touchdown. Milliner, the No. 9 overall pick, has played far below expectations, and that has to be troubling. This marked the second time he was benched in a game. Antonio Cromartie got beat deep twice by A.J. Green, but Dalton stayed away from Cromartie for the most part. Darrin Walls, Dawan Landry and Jaiquawn Jarrett each allowed a touchdown pass.
Woe is Geno: Smith (20-for-30, 159 yards) was replaced early in the fourth quarter by Matt Simms. Don't read too much into the change; it probably was Ryan trying to save Smith from injury. He was under pressure from the outset, as the offensive line (especially left guard Brian Winters) struggled against the Bengals' front four. Smith did a poor job with blitz recognition, resulting in two early sacks. Smith continues to be an enigma. His record after victories is 0-4, with one touchdown and nine interceptions.
What's next: The Jets return home to face the New Orleans Saints (6-1) in the Ryan Bowl -- Rex vs. Rob, the Saints' defensive coordinator.
October, 27, 2013
By Coley Harvey | ESPN.com
CINCINNATI -- A few thoughts on the Cincinnati Bengals' 49-9 win against the New York Jets.
What it means: Are there any words that can define what Sunday's blowout means for the Bengals? Not really. About the only thing I can think to say after the type of dominating performance that had to make the Oregon Ducks and Florida State Seminoles envious is the following: If you haven't already, wake up, NFL fans and turn your attention to Cincinnati. The football team here certainly looks for real. Although the Bengals have had wins in which they seemed to control every facet of their game, none this season have been as complete as Sunday's. They put their foot on the proverbial gas and, for the first time, didn't let up.
Stock watch: Training room -- falling. For the second straight week, injuries were a problem for Cincinnati. With a short week that includes a trip to South Florida, they could swell into something significant, too. Before the teams even returned to their locker rooms for halftime, linebacker Rey Maualuga, offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth and defensive back Taylor Mays had been lost to injuries. None of them returned to the game. Neither did receiver Mohamed Sanu. Maualuga's and Mays' injuries looked serious at the time. Maualuga was one of several Bengals who missed action at the end of last week's game in Detroit, too, when the injury bug first settled into the organization's camp. Cornerback Leon Hall was lost for the season during that game. Just two weeks ago, injuries didn't appear to be an issue at all for the Bengals, who were remarkably healthy.
Dalton-to-Jones: Andy Dalton and Marvin Jones formed quite the duo in the blowout, setting a pair of career highs. Dalton's five touchdowns were the most of his three years in Cincinnati, and Jones' four touchdown receptions were the most in franchise history. The memory of Dalton's 203-yard showing at Cleveland five weeks ago is so distant, some of the young quarterback's biggest detractors are even forgetting about it. Over the past three games, he has thrown for more than 300 yards and three touchdowns. He is the ninth quarterback since 2001 to have such showings in three consecutive single-season games. Jones finished the day with eight catches for 122 yards.
What's next? The Bengals travel to Miami on Thursday night for their final game against an AFC East team this season. If they can get past the Dolphins, they'll be 7-2 and virtually playing for home-field advantage.
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