+ WHEN GRAHAM CRACKERS FINALLY CRUMBLE. Shayne Graham has had a history of missing critical game-winning or game-tying field goals that's made us question his reliability as a clutch field goal kicker. And Sunday may have doomed his Bengals career. With 6:29 left in the third quarter, Graham missed a 35-yard field goal that would have brought Cincinnati to within four points. Instead he kicked it wide left and the Jets went on an eight-play 75 yard touchdown drive. With 3:54 remaining in the game, Shayne Graham capped Cincinnati's 13-play 52-yard drive with a missed 28-yard field goal that would have put Cincinnati to within a touchdown. Having three time outs and under four minutes left in the game, the Bengals could have put themselves in a position to tie the game, if not win the game.
I'm sure no one feels worse about losing than Shayne Graham. But that doesn't lesson the question: Is Shayne Graham's career in Cincinnati over? He was paid $2.483 million this year as the team's designated franchise player. Now Graham will be an unrestricted free agent which opens the door for Cincinnati for find a kicker that's a bit cheaper and hopefully more reliable when the game is on the line.
Something else to think on: If the Bengals offense actually produced in the redzone during Graham's field goal misses...
"There isn't anything you can say about that," coach Marvin Lewis said. "When you miss the field goal, you miss the field goal. It's a shame, and it killed us. Unfortunately, in this case, it's mostly a one-man operation, and that is the sad part of it. Shayne feels worse about it than anybody. These points obviously make a big difference."
After starting 7-2, the Bengals won only three of their final eight games and dropped four of their last five.
Palmer's longest pass play of the day was a pass interference call against Revis good for 26 yards.
Dhani Jones puts the season in perspective:
"How can you not like the foundation and the things we've done?" Jones said. "We've done a lot of phenomenal things. We just didn't do that one phenomenal thing that we needed to continue.
Several Bengals players suffered injuries against the Jets. Rashad Jeanty broke his leg. Andre Caldwell admits that he wouldn't have returned to the game if it wasn't a critical game and Laveranues Coles kept on getting hurt.
Don Banks questioned Marvin Lewis' use of his challenges:
2. Marvin Lewis' challenges. He burned his two by the first period, and both were fairly obvious losers. C'mon, Marvin, that's not why I made you Coach of the Year.
The following is a season-by-season look at Lewis' record when challenging plays during the regular season.
Peter King on the Bengals: "You can't convince me that Carson Palmer's not hurt. Either that or he's become Steve Sax or Steve Blass. You know, with some sort of thrower's block."