EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - AUGUST 21: Santonio Holmes #10 of the New York Jets celebrates after scoring a touchdown against Chris Crocker #42 of the Cincinnati Bengals in the first quarter during their pre season game on August 21, 2011 at the New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
After Dalton's first of two interceptions in the first quarter, followed with a 22-yard return between Eric Smith and Darrelle Revis, the Jets established the second offensive possession from Cincinnati's 16-yard line with 11:41 left in the first quarter. This is about the point of a Bengals game that if anything could go wrong, does go wrong. Hopefully the Bengals defense stalls the Jets offense at this point, or else the progression towards nasty might accelerate like a particle beam to the eye.
Jets line up with offset I-formation, strong side to the left with both receivers wide right. Cincinnati's defense played a base 4-3 with Leon Hall on the right in obvious zone coverage. Sanchez takes the snap and looks to his right while Santonio Holmes fought off contact from Manny Lawson, who was assigned the underneath zone. The quality of the pass should be noted here, because as Holmes left Lawson's zone coverage, Sanchez accurately timed the pass into an open zone, easily hauled in by Holmes.
The crutch here is that once Holmes got past the linebacker, the Bengals secondary was well away from the play. Crocker, in the endzone shadowing Plaxico Burress who never left the line of scrimmage, was over ten yards away from Holmes, unable to recover quickly enough to prevent the touchdown. What's worse is that Reggie Nelson badly bit on the play-action to the left, leaving Crocker to defend everything 10 yards off the line of scrimmage.
Of all the plays by the first team defense, this is clearly the worst allowed; obviously when you give up seven points on a play it's classified as a "bad play".