New York Jets 22, Cincinnati Bengals 23: A.J. Green Terrorizes Gang Green (Highlights)
William Hauser, USATSI

Ryan Fitzpatrick and the New York Jets looked great early but ultimately failed to make the crucial late play when it mattered most.

  • New York Jets 22 (0-1)
  • Cincinnati Bengals 23 (1-0)
  • NFL, Final, Box Score
  • MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ

This game can easily be boiled down to one crucial play call and one missed extra point.

With just under four minutes remaining in regulation, the New York Jets faced a critical 3rd-and-3 situation in the red zone. With Jalin Marshall and the spread offense fully in tow, Chan Gailey dialed up a quick-hitter behind the interior of his offensive line.

The play failed as Bilal Powell was unable to pick up the first down. Nick Folk kicked the go-ahead field goal and the Jets took a slim 22-20 lead late in the 4th-quarter.

The Jets needed a touchdown.

In this league that features an easy short-passing game, that call by Todd Bowles and the Jets offense doomed them. It was entirely too conservative (even considering the success the Jets had on the ground all game long, 137 yards and 26 carries).

Andy Dalton led his Cincinnati Bengals on a game-winning drive with relative ease. A.J. Green, as was the case all day long, turned out the biggest play on a 3rd-and-13 just inside Jets territory. It resulted in a 47-yard field goal by ex-Jet Mike Nugent. with under a minute to go.

New York’s last gasp featured a tremendous drop by Brandon Marshall, who was relatively quiet all afternoon (3 receptions, 32 yards), and a Ryan Fitzpatrick interception.

The final score turned out to be 23-22. Folk’s missed extra point on Eric Decker‘s TD turned out to be the difference.

For the Jets, who played a solid brand of ball for most of the afternoon, a tougher defeat couldn’t have been conjured up. This is especially the case when considering what’s ahead for Gang Green (the next five weeks: Buffalo, Kansas City, Seattle, Pittsburgh, and Arizona).

The game featured two talented teams. Two teams who are stout on the front end of the defense and who can chuck it on offense with the best of them.

Fitzpatrick finished 19-of-35 for 189 yards, two touchdowns and that last chance interception. Quincy Enunwa and Matt Forte turned out to be the two Jets stars on offense.

Enunwa got the scoring season started right by capping off the Jets thunderous opening drive that had MetLife Stadium rocking:

Enunwa finished with seven catches for 54 yards and a score.

The offense was moving the ball so easily that it looked as if the Bengals were in trouble. However, just two possessions later and after New York marched down the field yet again, Nick Folk‘s first field goal attempt of the day was blocked.

From that point on, the game featured an incredible five lead changes. From a Jets perspective, the quick-strike passing game that was hitting on all cylinders early on gave way to the run game led by Forte in the second half. Forte finished with 96 yards on 22 carries.

RELATED: Quincy Enunwa Opens The Scoring In 2016 (Video)

Defensively, New York’s front was dominant all game long. They sacked Dalton seven times. Muhammad Wilkerson collected 1.5, Leonard Williams 2.5, Steve McLendon 2, and Lorenzo Mauldin picked up one of his own.

The only area of the game the Jets failed in was defending A.J. Green. The man was an absolute terror all day and exposed Revis even further.

In the first-half he hauled in a 54-yard TD in which Revis didn’t get depth on and Marcus Gilchrist robbed underneath:

While it was a Cover 3, there is no reason Revis should have allowed Green to get behind him. Nobody had entered his deep third.

Here’s another dandy from Green:

Although Eric Decker’s TD allowed the Jets to fight right back, the back-and-forth nature of this game forced the critical late plays to make the difference:

Jets Notes:

Jalin Marshall experienced a positive first NFL game. Although he didn’t factor into the offense (one lone target), he showcased his beast nature on this kickoff return:

Lawrence Thomas, the man who seems to be a one-week replacement for the suspended Sheldon Richardson, had this pop of a hit on Adam “Pacman” Jones:

Dalton finished with an incredible 366 yards, a touchdown and an interception on 23-of-30 passing.

Next up for the Jets will be Rex Ryan and the Bills in Buffalo on Thursday Night Football.

NEXT: Keys To The Game For The New York Jets In Week 1

NYY

NYM

NYG

NYJ

NYK

BKN

NYR

NYI

NJD

SJU