This game doesn't deserve a recap. If I were to put as much effort into it as the Bengals showed Sunday night, the whole piece would be this: they sucked.
Once greeted by a single-digit windchill and a raucous Jets crowd, the Bengals should have just turned around and come back to Cincinnati. They didn't want to play; I suppose I don't blame them, but they begrudgingly suited up anyway and got steamrolled for three distasteful hours.
Nothing went right. No one looked even decent. Maybe it was the ghosts of the Meadowland greats interfering with Cincinnati's attack in commemoration of the stadium's last game. Or maybe what we saw is the accumulation of 45 men who didn't care about the outcome. Either way I hope whatever it was has been removed from their systems.
Of course none of it mattered, but the Bengals did lose Pat Sims to a broken forearm and that hurts. He's our third best defensive fat guy, and Tank Johnson and Domata Peko can explain the significant of the team's third fat guy. Plus Sims is good. Like Maualuga, I allowed my expectations to soar in regards to Big Pat after a mighty preseason showing. While he has played well, he hasn't necessarily exploded this year, but he will be sorely missed. Nomadic fat guy, Shawn Smith, is a decent replacement but the rotation is a bit more shallow nonetheless; a costly casualty in a meaningless game is the worst kind of loss.
At least Pat had an excuse for the game; the other guys participated in a glorified walk-through. We learned a few more things about the Bengals in the process: our receivers apparently don't like catching a frozen football, tackling is sometimes optional and J.T. O'Sullivan is the last Bengals player I ever want to see on the field again---I'd rather see passes thrown to Clark Harris before watching O'Sullivan line up behind center.
Bernard Scott may have been the only speck of light from a far distant star in an otherwise inky black void for the Bengals in Week 17. He didn't have great numbers and was stopped behind the line on a few occasions, but he had an exciting 22-yard run by breaking a tackle and reversing field; he also continued to show a knack for kick-returning. This guy is good and should always get at least eight touches a game---maybe someday.
As for the Jets, I felt more of what we already knew about them was reinforced on Sunday rather than us learning any new information. Their defense is outrageous---especially General Revis, they run the ball a lot, and they don't want Sanchez feeling overwhelmed with too many responsibilities. We knew all of this, but that didn't help anything.
Cincinnati saw that the Jets run the option with success in the two games prior to the season finale, yet they pretended that they had never seen a person run from the quarterback position. Brad Smith must have looked like a two-headed Martian to them as he sprinted down field for huge runs. New York's offensive line mowed through the Bengals defense on run-blocking and cleared giant, tractor-sized running lanes to move through. Despite the triviality of the game, it was embarrassing.
The last game of one of the most interesting Bengal season in years, gave the fans little to cheer about but gave the players and coaches plenty to work on this week in the rematch. Nothing good happened Sunday night, but perhaps the positive ramifications of that miserable performance will blossom into fruition this Saturday in the real deal; the showdown. Maybe there's an ambush in the works. Are the Bengals being sneaky? It isn't like them but then again, there's no point in holding anything back when there's nothing else to lose.
Mojokong---now deleting Week 17 of the 2009 season from my memory banks.