Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton threw five touchdown passes, and Jets QB Geno Smith threw two interceptions — both of which were returned for touchdowns — as the Cincinnati Bengals embarrassed the Jets 49-9 at Paul Brown Stadium.
“That was ugly to say the least,” Rex Ryan said after the game. “We’re really fortunate that it only counts for one loss because you get your butt kicked like that, you know, I think we’re fortunate that that’s all it is. Obviously we have to play a lot better, you can file that in the obvious category.”
The Jets usually formidable defensive line couldn’t get any pressure on Dalton, and the young quarterback dissected the Jets secondary with pinpoint precision. Dalton, who finished with 325 yards passing, and 5 touchdowns, threw for 257 yards and 4TDs in the first half alone; the Jets secondary were merely bystanders to a superior Bengals aerial display.
“We got beat in every coverage known to man,” Ryan said. “Five touchdown passes. I don’t know how many times that’s happened in my lifetime. Not very often.”
The rout began early; the Bengals scored touchdowns on both of their opening drives. The first, a 9-yard pass to second year wide receiver Marvin Jones — his first of 4 touchdowns in the game — and the second a 4-yard pass to wide open tight end Jermaine Gresham.
Dalton targeted, and victimized, Jets first round draft pick Dee Milliner from the outset, and continued to do so until the Jets pulled him from the game — Milliner was thrown at five times, and allowed four completions for 108 yards, and a touchdown.
“Most of the big plays in the game happened on me,” said Milliner. “It was very frustrating. I feel that, as a person and a player, I let my teammates down. I played a terrible game.”
Although, it wasn’t just Milliner that was beaten. At various points in the game each of the Jets cornerbacks were embarrassed by Dalton, including All-Pro, Antonio Cromartie.
“We have a Pro Bowl corner [Cromartie] that didn’t have a good day either, so it’s all of us,” Rex Ryan said about the play of the Jets secondary.
Cromartie gave up two deep receptions to AJ Green, and was also called for pass interference on a deep 34 yard pass, which set up the Bengals’ opening touchdown.
Jets quarterback, Geno Smith, continued his roller coaster season. He followed up his strong performance against New England last week with two interceptions, both of which were returned for touchdowns. The first came on the opening play of the second half: Chris Crocker stepped in front Smith’s telegraphed pass and returned it 32 yards for a touchdown, and an unrecoverable 35-6 Bengals lead. Smith’s second error merely drove home the fact that the Jets had been well and truly destroyed. Smith threw late toward the sideline, and Adam “Pacman” Jones snatched the ball out of the air and raced 60-yards for a touchdown and a 49-9 lead. Smith completed 20-of-30 passes for 159 yards, no touchdowns, and 2 interceptions — a total QB rating of 51.9.
“They played their game,” he said. “They got us behind early, and their defensive line was able to get after us. They made it tough on us. We have to be able to step up to the plate and get it done on offense, no matter what the circumstances.”
Smith was pulled from the game with 13:04 remaining in the fourth quarter in favor of back-up Matt Simms — a clear sign that Ryan was waving the white flag and accepting defeat. In his first ever NFL game, Simms completed 3-of-17 passes for 17 yards, and had 35 yards rushing on 3 attempts.
“I understand why the decision was made, but I always want to be in the game,” Smith said about being benched in the fourth quarter. “I never want to be in a situation where we’re down and I have to be pulled from a game. It’s always upsetting, but I understand why the decision was made.”
The loss drops the Jets back to mediocrity with a 4-4 record. The Jets will host Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints at Metlife Stadium next week, and if the Jets don’t vastly improve between now and then Rex Ryan predicted in his post game press conferene that Brees “will break every record known to man against us.”
On the back of that performance, he might not be wrong.