By Tyson Rauch
Many considered Sunday’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals a litmus test for the New York Jets as the team was flying high after a win over the New England Patriots. Well Gang Green (4-4) completely failed their test as they were drubbed by the Bengals (6-2) 49-9.
Offense Grade: F
It was no secret that the Jets offense was going to face a stiff challenge on Sunday as the Bengals statistically have one of the best defenses in the NFL. The Jets were going to have to play physical, fundamentally sound football in order to have a chance to compete.
New York’s offensive line got completely manhandled by the Bengals front seven which stifled the running game and disrupted the passing game. Gang Green was only able to muster one, yes one, yard in the first quarter of the game.
The Jets had some chances to get back into the game but settled for field goals instead of getting touchdowns. It seemed that Gang Green could make some plays with a screen pass to Josh Cribbs or Jeremy Kerley, but those plays were never called. Once the score got out of hand it was difficult to put together any type of legitimate drives against a very aggressive defense.
Wide receiver David Nelson (8 catches for 80 yards) played very well on Sunday but did not receive much help from the rest of the pass catchers. This was the type of game where the Jets lack of game-breaking playmakers became blatantly obvious.
Defense Grade: F
The Jets like to believe that they are one of the best defenses in the NFL. On Sunday the unit played like one of the worst as they were completely torched by Andy Dalton (325 yards, 5 tds) and the Bengals passing game.
The New York pass rush was non-existent (1 sack) while the play in the secondary was abysmal. Rookie defensive back Dee Milliner looked lost in pass coverage with Antonio Cromartie once again struggling, especially on the deep routes. It was a truly terrible effort by the defense, one that put the Jets out of the game early.
Quarterback Grade: F
Geno Smith was put behind the eight ball early as the Bengals offense quickly put up 14 points. Smith had trouble getting into any type of rhythm as he was sacked four times and often dealt with a collapsing pocket or guys running in freely on him.
The rookie quarterback opened the second half with an awful pick six and then ended his Sunday with a second interception that was brought back for a touchdown. These were two terrible turnovers for the Jets quarterback but in all honesty the game was already out of hand before he threw them.
Special Teams Grade: D
Nick Folk was once again perfect as he made all three of his field goal attempts with a long of 50 yards. Ryan Quigley bounced back nicely from last week with a solid day and a 45-yard average on punts. The area where the special teams unit struggled was on return defense including a 71-yarder right before halftime. That return led to a touchdown and for the most part put an end to the Jets chances of winning the game.
Total team collapse
This was a putrid effort by the New York Jets spearheaded by a very poor performance by the defense. The Jets could not match the Bengals physicality and intensity and got completely manhandled on both sides of the ball.
Next up for Gang Green is the New Orleans Saints on Sunday at MetLife Stadium. The Jets defense better find ways to clean up their issues in the secondary or the Saints will drop 60 points on them in a heartbeat.
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Tyson Rauch is a freelance writer covering all things NFL. His work can be found on Examiner.com.