The New York Jets record after a win this season is 0-3. Their record after a win last season was 1-5, including the least impressive two game winning streak in NFL history when they beat Ryan Lindley and the Cardinals 7-6 and the Jacksonville “Only The Tarps Are Watching” Jaguars 17-10. It is about time the Jets string together a pair of impressive wins and the schedule has now presented a perfect opportunity for it with a trip to Cincinnati to face the 5-2 Bengals.
Many people assume the Jets are going to have an inevitable let down thanks to a post-Patriots victory hangover. However, outside of one brutal half of football in that kind of important AFC Championship Game, that hasn’t been the case for the Jets under Rex. They are actually 2-0 the following week after beating New England in the regular season. Regardless, the Jets roller coaster tendencies have been concerning, despite being somewhat expected.
The Bengals would seem to be a relatively good match-up for the Jets. They are an offense who wants to run the football to set up the pass and relegate quarterback Andy Dalton to more of a game manager. Unfortunately for them, you can’t run on the Jets so Dalton is going to have to make some plays down the field in the passing game for Cincy to score points.
Rookie running back Giovanni Bernard can be very dangerous in the screen game and will put pressure on the Jets linebackers, particularly Demario Davis who was drafted for backs just like him. AJ Green is the best receiver in football not named Megatron and the Jets don’t have a corner who can cover him right now. Hopefully Rex Ryan is smart enough to realize he can’t leave a hobbled Antonio Cromartie without safety support this week. Cincy’s two tight end looks could be problematic as well but you would think Antonio Allen will be plenty confident after the job he did on Gronk last week. This would be a nice game for rookie Dee Milliner to make a notable impact by chipping in on the inside coverage.
Geno Smith failed miserably the last time he faced a strong defense on the road in Tennessee. Let’s hope he’s learned from his mistakes because the Bengals defensive line is about as good as it gets (I’d say it is between them and the Jets for the best in football). It is pretty simple again, if Smith plays competently and avoids a multi-turnover game, the Jets are going to be in position to steal a critical road win.
Will they pull it off? Let’s crack open the 12 Pack to find out…
1. Geno Smith will throw for over 225 yards and 2 touchdowns. He will also be sacked four times and lose a fumble.
2. Chris Ivory will have 15-18 carries and finish with over 60 yards rushing. Bilal Powell will have 10-12 offensive touches.
3. Jeremy Kerley will again lead the Jets in receptions with 5 for 55 yards.
4. Ben Jarvus Green-Ellis will have less than 40 yards rushing. Giovanni Bernard will crack one big play but beyond that have a relatively quiet game.
5. AJ Green will have 6 receptions for 95 yards and a touchdown.
6. Tyler Eifert will have 4 receptions and a touchdown.
7. Josh Cribbs will have at least 4 offensive touches and one play over 10 yards.
8. David Nelson will convert a pair of key third downs.
9. Andy Dalton will have two turnovers and be sacked three times, including once by Muhammad WIlkerson who will grab his 7th on the season.
10. Nick Folk will continue his perfect season, knocking through three field goals, including one from over 40 yards.
11. Mike Nugent will miss a big field goal late in the game.
12. Pushing my chips to the middle on this Jets team right now, I think they get a huge road win in a closely contested game, 23-20.