Know Your Opponent: Week 1 vs. Cincinnati Bengals

Matthew Stalker breaks down the New York Jets week 1 opponent, the Cincinnati Bengals

The New York Jets kick off the 2016 regular season at MetLife Stadium against the Cincinnati Bengals.  Let’s get to know the Jets opponent for Week 1…

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TOJ- New York Jets Know Your Opponent (Week 8 vs Cincinnati)

The New York Jets are coming off the third biggest victory in Rex Ryan’s tenure, as Rex finally got the proverbial monkey off his back with a win over the Patriots. The victory was extra sweet because it brought the New York Jets within one game of the Patriots for the AFC East lead. Now, the 4-3 Jets travel to Cincinnati to take on the AFC North leading Bengals. Let’s get to know this week’s opponent for Gang Green.

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Turn On The Jets Roundtable – Jets vs. Bengals Preview

The Turn On The Jets roundtable previews the New York Jets pre-season opener versus the Cincinnati Bengals

Welcome to our first Turn On The Jets Roundtable of the 2012 season. We will be doing this throughout the year to get multiple opinions in a single article to both preview and predict upcoming New York Jets games. Today myself, Chris Gross and Mike Donnelly discuss what we are most looking forward to seeing tomorrow night –

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Joe Caporoso – It has to be Tony Sparano’s new offense. We have heard all off-season about the “Ground and Pound” so let’s see it in action. Last pre-season the Jets were awful running the football and it carried over into the regular season. Let’s see Shonn Greene churn out at least 4 yards a carry on his touches and Bilal Powell or Joe McKnight pop a run over 15-20 yards. The Jets are depleted at wide receiver but that is no reason to not give Mark Sanchez a chance to work with his new vertical threats, Stephen Hill and Chaz Schilens. And yes, it will be interesting to see Tim Tebow in action. I don’t think we will see much of The Wildcat but I’m sure he will break out of the pocket for a few runs with the second offense.

Can Austin Howard hold his own at right tackle and become a viable competitor to Wayne Hunter? Can one of the wide receivers make a big enough impression to prevent Mike Tannenbaum from swinging a trade? My money is on Patrick Turner or Jordan White having such a game.

Chris Gross – Command, control, and confidence out of Mark Sanchez. – The worst thing fans can do is expect Sanchez to come out tomorrow night and air it out early in his limited reps. The majority of his receiving corps (that he is most familiar with) will be sidelined, so don’t expect to see too many big plays out of number 6. Instead, look for him to, first, be confident in the new system. A very encouraging sign will be to see Sanchez exhibit early signs of the Tony Sparano “Know and know you know” philosophy. Look for Sanchez to show confidence in the new system, while displaying command, and most importantly the ability to protect the football. Improving his turnovers will be vital to his success this season, and Sanchez can take a step toward that tomorrow night.

Defensive Speed – The biggest area of need for the Jets following last season’s conclusion was team speed on the defensive side of the ball. New York is hoping that they improved on that with the additions of rookies Demario Davis and Quinton Coples, as well as veteran LaRon Landry, and a reborn Aaron Maybin, who finally has a full offseason under his belt with the Jets. It will be interesting to see these improvements in speed in live action tomorrow night. Expect Rex Ryan and Mike Pettine to come out swinging early with some aggressive blitz schemes

Mike Donnelly – Well I think my Stock Watch this week pretty much covered many of the things I’m looking forward to seeing in this game, but there are a few that bear repeating. Obviously I would love to see the Jets plan for Tim Tebow or see just how much Mark Sanchez has grown and improved this offseason, but this game won’t be a good barometer for either of those things in my opinion. The offense is going to come out very vanilla, work on a few basic things, and then get the starters the hell out of there before any more injuries can occur.

What we will get a good look at tomorrow night, however, is the second string on both sides of the ball. Players like Bilal Powell, Joe McKnight, Patrick Turner, Jordan White, Kenrick Ellis, and Ricky Sapp are guys I’m especially excited to see get extended playing time. I’d love to see a guy like Turner or White really step up and grab the bull by the horns and show that the Jets aren’t so thin at WR as everyone things. I’d love to see Bilal Powell justify the hype this preseason and show the Jets don’t need to go out and sign a veteran like Cedric Benson. And I’d really love to see Ricky Sapp continue his strong play this preseason and give the Jets a dynamic edge rusher to team up with Aaron Maybin. The thing I’d like to see the most though is everyone stay healthy, so let’s keep our fingers crossed and hope that is the case Friday night around 10pm when the game ends.

Initial Reaction: Jets Put Together Encouraging Performance

The New York Jets were far from perfect in their 27-7 victory over the porous Cincinnati Bengals. Yet, there was a collection of very encouraging signs from both the offense and the defense.

Plaxio Burress was the main story of the night, pulling in 3 receptions for 66 yards including a beautiful over the shoulder 26 yard touchdown. Burress didn’t look anywhere near as rusty as many anticipated he would be. Prior to his touchdown, Mark Sanchez connected with Burress on a back shoulder fade down sideline, which was exciting to see because you can’t stop that route if it is thrown properly to a 6’5 receiver. A big chunk of the Jets third down and red-zone problems will go away if Sanchez and Burress are connecting like they were tonight.

Sanchez put together another good performance, going 12/20 for 173 yards and 2 touchdowns. He did an excellent job spreading the ball around to his top targets, as Santonio Holmes caught a 16 yard touchdown and Dustin Keller led the way with 73 receiving yards, including a 43 yarder off a nice play action fake. The sky is the limit for this passing offense once Burress, Holmes, Keller, and Derrick Mason are on the field together.

The starting defense dominated outside of one drive, where they broke down on a screen pass to Brian Leonard which went for a huge gain that eventually led to a touchdown.Bengals rookie quarterback Andy Dalton struggled and threw two bad interceptions, one picked off by Eric Smith and one by Jim Leonhard. The backups on defense keep Cincinnati off the board. Brashton Satele intercepted a pass and fell a couple yards short of a touchdown. Recently signed linebacker Aaron Maybin also came up with a strip sack, in a play that isn’t going to make Bills fans happy.

Joe McKnight deserves credit for putting together a strong performance and taking a big step towards locking down the #3 running back spot. He scored his first NFL touchdown on a 3 yard reception from Greg McElroy and also had 36 yards on 7 carries.Bilal Powell was quiet with 22 yards on 9 carries. Fifth string running back Chris Jennings actually had the run of the night, breaking off a 69 yarder late in the fourth quarter.

The negatives? The Jets were still inconsistent at finishing drives and struggled on third downs. They stalled at the 26 yard line on the first drive of the game, followed by Nick Folk missing a 43 yard field goal, also they later had to settle for a field goal when they had the ball in the red-zone. The first unit didn’t run the ball particularly well as LaDainian Tomlinson only had 21 yards on 9 carries. On defense, the screen wasn’t defended well and it was disappointing to see them allow a touchdown drive to such a weak offense.

Overall, it was still a step in the right direction and you have to be encouraged with where the Jets currently are at in the pre-season.