All good things must come to an end. Riding a three-game win streak, the Jets lost to the Bengals by a score of 22-6, which gave Cincinnati their first win of the season. Incredibly, the Jets are the first team in NFL history lose to two teams 0-7 or worse in a season.
The Jets’ offense never got going, doomed by drops, penalties, and poor play from the line. Defensively, the Jets were not great, but able to keep the Bengals under control. Last week, the Jets pulled off the upset, and this week it happened to them. Unfortunately, this all but ends the Jets’ season as they sit at 4-8.
What goes up must come down. During their win streak, the Jets had scored exactly 34 points in straight games. Darnold was leading the way, with passer ratings of 97.9, 121.3, and 127.8. Sadly, the offensive success came to an end in Cincinnati, where the offense only managed six points. Additionally, Darnold posted a passer rating of 71.4, and Le’Veon Bell only managed only 32 rushing yards.
The tone was set from the opening drive, which saw dropped passes from Bell, Robbie Anderson, and Braxton Barrios. The drive ended in one of Sam Ficken‘s two field goals, the Jets’ only scores of the game. Unimpressively, the Jets did not reach the red zone once.
Ultimately, the center of the problems for the Jets’ offense was their offensive line. Embarrassingly, the line committed eight penalties for a loss of 59 yards. The Jets’ seemingly, had no answer for two-time pro bowler Carlos Dunlap. Dunlap got to Darnold for three sacks and six QB hits, despite coming into the game with only two and a half sacks on the season. To make matters worse, they only gained 62 yards against the worst rush defense in the NFL.
Surprisingly, Adam Gase only called 15 designed running plays against the Bengals. Nine of those running plays went between the guards for three or fewer yards. Coming into the game, teams averaged only 3.3 yards per carry when running up the middle against the Bengals. The Jets’ played right into the strength of the Bengals by running at Carlos Dunlap. As a team, the Jets now have the second-fewest rush yards by running back in the NFL.
Defense vs Dalton
Andy Dalton returned to the starting position for the Bengals for the first time since being benched on his birthday. Dalton had a decent game, throwing for 243 yards and one touchdown. However, Dalton was able to take advantage of the Jets’ lack of discipline during the final two minutes of the first half. Dalton took a shot downfield to Tyler Boyd, which resulted in a defensive pass interference call on Neville Hewitt. The 39-yard penalty set the Bengals up at the Jets’ 5-yard line, where they scored to take a 17-3 lead.
The league’s best rush defense continued to dominate, holding the Bengals to only 44 yards on the ground. Stud running back Joe Mixon was limited to 2.3 yards per carry, but did manage to score a touchdown after the Hewitt penalty. The Jets’ defense was able to keep the Bengals out of the end zone in the second half, and allowing only a field goal. Yet, the Bengals controlled the ball for nearly 59.9% of the second half, limiting the Jets’ chances.
Undisciplined and Unprepared
The Jets came into this game on a three-game winning streak and as three-point favorites. The Bengals had not won a game in 11 tries this season. Yet, the Jets lost to the Bengals. The Bengals played well, but fundamentally. The Jets beat themselves.
Shockingly, they committed ten penalties for 106 yards. Of which, five were for offensive holding, putting the Jets at the second most holding calls in the league. They only ran the ball 15 times against the worst rush defense in the league. Whether they ran the ball or passed the ball, no one stopped Carlos Dunlap. Adam Gase‘s team came out visibly undisciplined and unprepared for the Bengals.
Looking ahead, the Jets are effectively eliminated from the playoffs. Now that the Jets lost to the Bengals, they sit at 4-8. Next week, they play at home against the last place Dolphins. However, their final three games of the season come against teams currently in the AFC playoffs: at the Ravens, the Steelers, and the Bills.
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