If the Bengals were trying to hide the real talent of their team in New York last week they accomplished that.In fact, they barely even showed up. The Bengals had very little to gain in Sunday nights game against the Jets.A win would give them the number 3 seed in the playoffs with a rematch against the Houston Texans (a team that beat them handily in Week 6).A win for the Jets meant they make the playoffs and get to travel to Cincinnati for a rematch.The Bengals could not earn a bye week so they took this last game as if it were the bye week.Five starters, who likely could have played, were inactive for the game in order to get rest.
The Jets came in and quickly took advantage of the Bengals short handed defense.With Chris Crocker and Domata Peko out, the Bengals have had a hard time stopping the run.The Jets used wide receiver Brad Smith in the wildcat formation and were able to torch the Bengals with draw and option plays.The Jets finished the game with 257 rushing yards in a 37-0 route.The Bengals suffered a setback early in the game when defensive tackle Pat Sims went out with a broken arm.
The Bengals offense didn’t do much better.Going into halftime the Bengals had -2 total yards with 2:13 time of possession.They finished up with 72 total yards, the lowest amount in franchise history.Carson Palmer, who played only shortly into the second half was 1 for 11 with zero yards.Chad Ochocinco, who had been talking trash with Jets corner Darrelle Revis all week, was held without a catch for the first time in 120 games.
But there may have been a reason for Chad’s lack of productivity.During pregame warm ups Chad slipped and fell on the frozen turf in Giants Stadium.Even though he was able to start the game he didn’t look to be making his cuts well and Revis was able to shut him down.Chad said via Twitter on Monday morning that his knee was swollen and he couldn’t straighten it.He did go in for an MRI but is expected to practice on Tuesday.Chad had said that if Revis was able to shut him down that he would change his name back to Chad Johnson.Don’t be surprised if he is announced as Chad Johnson during the rematch this weekend.
The rematch happens to be the first game of the post season, right here in Cincinnati.The Jets will face the Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on Saturday at 4:30pm.Surely, the Jets have to feel pretty good about how they manhandled the Colts and Bengals in their last two regular season games but both games were against second stringers.The Bengals will reload the defense with Domata Peko, Robert Geathers and Chris Crocker.I highly doubt that the Jets will have the same success running the ball this weekend.The real question is how will the Bengals inconsistent offense play this week.Cedric Benson and JP Foschi will return this week but Chad Ochocinco’s knee is still a bit of a question.The offensive line struggled against the Jets front four in the first game and will have to step it up this week.It’s time for Bob Bratkowski to throw out the conservative play book and come out swinging against the Jets.The Bengals are 2 ½ point favorites and I will go with them to win 27-20.
There is no doubt that the Cincinnati home crowd will be fired up for their second home playoff game in 20 years.But it looks like we may be getting a late start this week.Hopefully we have everything up and going by 11:00am Saturday at Longworth Hall.The menu (as of right now) looks to be Baja Chicken Enchilada soup and Walking Tacos.It will definitely be a celebration as we root our Bengals on to their first playoff win since 1991!!