Tale Of The Tape: New York Jets At Cincinnati Bengals
- QuarterbackThe Jets are holding their own with rookie Geno Smith at quarterback, and that’s far better than what had been expected from the youngster. Smith is doing a decent job as long as the Jets' offensive line can protect him, but when he faces pressure he struggles. Smith is at his best when he goes out on the edge and has the option of making a big play with his legs.Andy Dalton has decent numbers at the quarterback position as he has completed 65.9 percent of his passes and he has an 11-5 TD-interception ratio. His 7.73 yards per pass is also a solid figure, however there seems to be an element missing from his game. When he is asked to throw medium- and long-range routes, his accuracy tends to suffer.
- OffenseBilal Powell and Chris Ivory are not superstars, but they are giving the Jets enough of a running game to take some real heat off of Smith. Jeremy Kerley is emerging as one of the team’s better receivers. He has caught 24 passes for 319 yards and two touchdowns. Stephen Hill can make a few big plays. He has five receptions of 20 yards or more, tying for the team lead in that category.The Bengals have a nice 1-2 punch at the running back position with BenJarvus Green-Ellis and rookie Giovanni Bernard. While not quite an imitation of the Giants’ old Thunder and Lightning backfield, Green-Ellis can blast between the tackles while Bernard has game-changing quickness. A.J. Green is one of the best and most explosive receivers in the league.
- DefenseRex Ryan has the Jets playing consistent defense and his players are also sprinkling in quite a few big plays. One of those big plays was cornerback Antonio Allen’s 23-yard interception return for a touchdown against the Patriots that turned the game in the Jets’ favor. Linebacker David Harris has a team-leading 57 tackles and 2.0 sacks.The Bengals have played consistent defense this year, as they rank 9th in yards allowed. Defensive tackle Geno Atkins is one of the best in the league at his position. In addition to being superb against the interior run, he is tied for the team lead in sacks with 4.0. Hard-hitting linebacker Vontaze Burfict leads the team with 74 tackles and he also has four passes defensed.
- Special TeamsThe Jets have done a solid job in coverage, but they haven’t gotten much from their own returners. Ryan is thrilled with the job that placekicker Nick Folk is doing. He has made all 16 of the field goals he has attempted, including the game winner against the Patriots in Week Seven.The Bengals have been fairly good in coverage this year, but they rarely threaten to break a long return themselves. Mike Nugent has made 10-of-13 FG attempts. Kevin Huber has dropped 13 of his 33 punts inside the 20.
Both teams are coming off hard-fought victories and both should have a positive frame of mind. However, the Bengals play this game at home and they are not going to let this game slip away. The Jets are going to have to play their best game of the year if they are going to beat the AFC North leader on the road. -Steve Silverman, CBS Local Sports contributor