The Bengals’ first game of the regular season is days away, and we couldn’t be more excited! The opponent? None other than the New York Jets, whom the Bengals haven’t traditionally done well against.
In fact, the Bengals lost all three of their first matchups with the Jets in the old American Football League, before the leagues merged in 1970. The Bengals also lost their first NFL meeting with the Jets by a score of 35-21 in 1971. The very first meeting between the teams took place on December 8, 1968. Bengals quarterback Dewey Warren was ineffective, completing three of his seven pass attempts for 58 yards. He was no match for the legendary Joe Namath, who completed 13 of his 23 attempts for 193 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception caught by Bengals linebacker Al Beauchamp.
Through 25 total regular season and postseason meetings, the Bengals have an unimpressive 8-17 record. Granted, the most recent matchup between the teams, a Week 8 home game for the Bengals, resulted in an absolute blowout win by a score of 49-9. Everyone was on point in that game, especially former Bengals receiver Marvin Jones, who recorded 122 yards and four touchdowns on eight catches.
Quarterback Andy Dalton did throw one interception on the day, but finished with an astounding 125.7 quarterback rating due to 19 completions, 325 yards, and five touchdowns on 30 passing attempts. The Bengals’ passing defense also dominated, allowing a combined quarterback rating of 51.2 for Jets quarterbacks Geno Smith and Matt Simms. Even punt returner Brandon Tate looked good with one kick return going for 71 yards, setting the Bengals up for an easy touchdown that put the team up 28-6.
It was a fantastic game that allowed the Bengals to cap off a mid-season four game winning streak in style. Unfortunately, the following two weeks weren’t great as the Bengals lost two games in overtime heartbreakers while also losing Geno Atkins for the rest of the season. But, for the most part, it was a great season for the Bengals in which they went 11-5 and won the AFC North. The same cannot be said for the Jets, who finished with a mediocre 8-8 record and missed the playoffs for a third consecutive year.
However, things weren’t going great for the Bengals in their four previous matchups with the Jets. Two of those matchups came in January 2010 and similarly to the way the Bengals beat the Jets in 2013, the Bengals suffered a blowout loss to the Jets in Week 17 of the 2009-10 season. Granted, the Bengals had already clinched the AFC North crown at that point and didn’t have any real hope of improving their situation in the playoffs. So, they took it easy in the final week of the regular season, laying a 37-0 egg in New York.
Carson Palmer was about as bad as he’s ever been in that game. Although he only threw one interception, he didn’t throw any touchdowns and only completed a single pass for no gain in 11 total attempts. He ended with a quarterback rating of 1.7. J.T. Sullivan went in after a while and looked much better by comparison, despite only recording a 49.5 quarterback rating, he also fumbled the ball twice.
At the time, it was seen as a pointless game for the Bengals to pay much attention to, so the nature of the loss wasn’t analyzed as much as it possibly should have been. The reason for that is, with the win, the Jets secured the No. 5 playoff seed in the AFC, while the Bengals relinquished the No. 3 seed to the New England Patriots and went in as the No. 4 seed. That meant that the Bengals would have to play the Jets again the following week in the first round of the playoffs. It probably would have been nice to put in some real work the previous week so that they could be prepared for this one.
But, they weren’t and, despite having home field advantage this time, the Bengals still were unable to overcome the Jets. The final score (24-14) was more reasonable this time but, a complete offensive disappearance in the second and third quarters showed that the Bengals just were not ready for this game.
The Bengals got another shot at the Jets in November of the 2010-11 season, but once again failed to look competitive as they fell by a score of 26-10. Today, the Bengals are generally considered to be the better team. Many people see them as the favorites to come out with the win. But, they haven’t had back to back wins over the Jets since they won in 1988 and again in 1990. Hopefully, we will see them play like they did in 2013, rather than the four matchups against the Jets prior to that.