There are not many ways to sugarcoat the New York Jets performance on Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals. Gang Green was completely dominated on both sides of the ball with the game basically over at halftime. The Bengals are one of the best teams in the AFC, but this was truly a putrid effort by Gang Green.
Manhandled in the trenches- The Jets offensive line had a nightmare of day trying to slow down the aggressive Cincinnati Defense. New York’s unit yielded 4 sacks, while struggling mightily in run blocking.
Geno struggles- Geno Smith was put behind the eight ball early on as the Jets were quickly behind 14-0. The rookie faced consistent pressure in the pocket and received zero support from the running game. As the second half opened Geno threw a dreadful pick six, which all but ended the game for the Jets. Smith’s second pick six was a perfect example of a frustrated quarterback making a very rookie mistake.
Nelson toughs it- Wide receiver David Nelson played his heart out on Sunday as he caught 8 passes for 80 yards. Nelson seemed to fight for every yard after the catch while he appeared to be battling injuries.
Lack of playmakers- In a game like this the Jets lack of gamebreaking players on offense became blatantly obvious. With the running game stalled the receivers had a hard time getting open and making plays in space. Once tight end Jeff Cumberland went out with an injury the passing game became an absolute mess.
Milliner lost- Another tough game for rookie defensive back Dee Milliner. Andy Dalton and the Bengals offense went after the rookie early and often and Milliner had no answers. Dee appeared lost on the field and was replaced by Darrin Walls. At this point Rex Ryan should start Walls until Milliner A) gets healthy B) gets his confidence back C) starts playing at a much higher level.
Cromartie struggles- Antonio Cromartie’s average season continues as the former Pro-Bowl corner struggled on Sunday. Cromartie was beaten deep several times and just seemed like he was either confused or playing hurt.
Where is Coples? Another quiet game for linebacker Quinton Coples as he had 2 tackles and 3 assists. The Jets linebacker has to start making plays off of the edge in order to help take some pressure off of the guys in the middle.
This loss was a total team collapse. The Jets defense had no answers for the Bengals high- octane offense. Gang Green’s offense was basically stuck in the mud as they settled for field goals instead of getting touchdowns when given the opportunity. Even special teams contributed with some poor tackling as they yielded some big returns.
All in all it was just a dreadful day for the New York Jets. Was it a season ending loss? No. Does this mean that the Jets are the worst team in the NFL? No. Rex Ryan and his team will just need to regroup and learn from the experience. At 4-4 the New York Jets remain in the hunt for a playoff spot. That is all you can ask from a young team that is somewhat learning on the fly with a rookie quarterback.