First a few updates:
1. David Harris and Steve Weatherford missed practice today. Harris is likely going to be a game-time decision, while I would expect Weatherford to play. James Ihedigbo left practice today with a stinger but did return. Thomas Jones and Tony Richardson were given the day off. The backup to David Harris, Ryan Fowler, was limited with a head injury and if for some reason he and Harris couldn’t play…Kenwin Cummings would start at inside linebacker.
2. Cedric Benson told the media today that he didn’t even know who David Harris was and that he doubted the Jets would struggle without him. Harris is the leading tackler on the Jets #1 ranked defense with 127 stops, along with 5.5 sacks and 2 interceptions. I wonder if Benson knows who Thomas Jones is? The guy he was drafted to replace in Chicago but could never beat out. The guy who despite being 5 years older than him finished with 151 more rushing yards and 8 more touchdowns than him this season and was able to stay healthy enough to play all 16 games, while Benson couldn’t.
3. Condolences to Jets owner Woody Johnson and his family. His daughter passed away yesterday.
4. How about Teddy Bruschi on ESPN saying that the Jets have the best chance to make the Super Bowl out of the two wild-card teams? I think he was trying to jinx them.
5. The Bengals are coming into the came 100 percent healthy with Chad Ochocinco, Chris Crocker, and Domata Peko all expected to start.
6. The Jets finished #12 in ESPN’s Power Rankings, not bad for a team that started the season as ranked #23.
7. Well we know how Jeffri Chadiha of ESPN feels about the Jets (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/playoffs/2009/columns/story?columnist=chadiha_jeffri&id=4795473), then again this guy is picking Tony Romo to win three playoff games, so I wouldn’t be too worried.
Jets vs. Bengals First Look
Bengals Offensive Starters/Key Reserves
- Quarterback: Carson Palmer – 282/466, 3094 yards, 60.5 completion percentage, 21 touchdowns, 13 interceptions, 83.6 QB Rating.
- Running Back: Cedric Benson – 301 carries, 1251 yards, 4.2 yards per carry, 6 TD’s.
- Third Down Back: Bernard Scott – 74 carries, 321 yards, 4.3 yards per carry.
- Back-Up Running Back: Larry Johnson – 46 carries, 204 yards, 4.4 yards per carry.
- Other Third Down Back: Brian Leonard – 27 carries, 84 yards, 3.1 yards per carry, 30 receptions, 217 yards
- Fullback: Jeremi Johnson – 4 carries, 8 yards, 6 receptions, 41 yards.
- #1 Receiver: Chad Ochocinco – 72 receptions, 1047 yards, 9 touchdowns.
- #2 Receiver: Laveranues Coles – 43 receptions, 514 yards, 5 touchdowns.
- #3 Receiver: Andre Caldwell – 51 receptions, 432 yards, 3 touchdowns.
- #4 Receiver: Quan Cosby – 4 receptions, 55 yards
- Tight End: J.P. Foschi – 27 receptions, 260 yards, 2 touchdowns
- #2 Tight End: Daniel Coats – 16 receptions, 150 yards
- Left Tackle: Andrew Whitworth
- Left Guard: Nate Livings
- Center: Kyle Cook
- Right Guard: Bobbie Williams
- Right Tackle: Dennis Roland
Bengals Defensive Starters/Key Reserves
- Defensive End: Robert Geathers – 36 tackles, 3.5 sacks
- Defensive Tackle: Domata Peko – 23 tackles
- Defensive Tackle: Tank Johnson – 29 tackles, 2.0 sacks
- Defensive End: Jonathan Fanene – 36 tackles, 6.0 sacks
- Outside Linebacker: Rashad Jeanty – 20 tackles
- Middle Linebacker: Dhani Jones - 113 tackles, 3.5 sacks
- Outside Linebacker: Keith Rivers – 72 tackles, 1 sack
- Corner: Leon Hall – 71 tackles, 6 INTs
- Corner: Jonathan Joseph – 69 tackles, 6 INTs
- Safety: Chris Crocker – 51 tackles, 2 INTs
- Safety: Chinedum Ndukwe – 89 tackles, 1 INT
- Kicker: Shayne Graham – 23/28 FGs, 28/29 PATs, (1 miss from 20-29 yards, 2 misses from 30-39 yards)
- Punter: Kevin Huber – 43.2 yards per punt
- Kick Return: Bernard Scott – 1 return touchdown, 31.5 average
- Punt Return: Quan Cosby – 11.9 per return.
Offense – The Bengals offense is built like the Jets offense, which means they live by the run. Carson Palmer isn’t an elite quarterback anymore but still had a good overall season. He can be relied on to make some plays if the running game is slowed down, yet the Bengals are weak at wide receiver. Chad Ochocinco isn’t going to be a factor this week, I can promise you that and beyond him the Bengals have nothing at receiver. Laveraneus Coles is washed up and Andre Caldwell is average. They also don’t have a pass catching threat at tight end. Cedric Benson has been very good this year and Brian Leonard has made plays for them on third downs. However, I have a tough time seeing Benson gashing the Jets defense. Honestly, I would be shocked if the Bengals scored more than 17 points unless Sanchez turns the ball over.
Defense – Cincy has been very strong against the run all season. However, they are now missing linebacker Rey Maualuga which will have a negative impact on them. The Jets are going to run the ball, regardless of how many people the Bengals put in the box. I am sure Cincy has spent plenty of time on Brad Smith this week in practice and they should expect more of him this week. The Bengals have two very good corners and talent at safety as well. Mark Sanchez has to be careful against their secondary because there isn’t going to be a ton of space for Braylon Edwards and Jerricho Cotchery to work with.
Special Teams – I am very worried about Bernard Scott ripping off a kick return touchdown against us this week. However, keep an eye on Brad Smith on our kick return unit because he has been improving all season. I think we have an advantage at the kicker position.
Well They Couldn’t Beat Oakland