The Jets entered the game one of the hottest teams in football, but like the temperature dropped during Thanksgiving weekend, the Jets looked like they were cooling off.
Both the Bengals’ offense and defense stood up against he Jets, securing their first win by a score of 22-6.
Andy Dalton started his first game since he was benched, and it became clear why he was the starter in the first place. Dalton threw the ball 37 times with 22 completions for 248 yards and a touchdown. He also became the Bengals’ all-time leader in touchdown passes and completions.
Jets’ quarterback Sam Darnold didn’t have what Dalton had, only going 28 for 47 with 239 yards. He also didn’t get help from the running game, which only rushed for 62 yards on 17 carries.
The Bengals’ defense also had the best game they had all season, thanks in large part to Carlos Dunlap. He had three sacks on the game, and passed his teammate Geno Atkins for second place on the Bengals’ all-time sack leaderboard.
Dalton and Dunlap weren’t the only players setting new franchise marks. Kevin Huber set a new franchise record for most games played by a punter in Bengals’ history.
The Bengals defense didn’t give up very many yards early, but gave up three conversions on their first three third down attempts. The Bengals finally made a stop to force a 42-yard field goal from Sam Ficken, and the Jets were up to a 3-0 lead with 9:08 remaining in the opening quarter.
Even though Andy Dalton made his first start since Week 8, the Bengals found the most success when they ran the ball with Joe Mixon. Dalton then re-connected with his favorite target, Tyler Boyd. On the Bengals’ second drive, Dalton threw to Boyd three times, including once for a 17-yard touchdown down the middle of the defense. The Bengals were now up 7-3 after Bullock’s extra point with 1:12 to go in the first quarter.
With that pass, Dalton passed Ken Anderson for most touchdown passes in Bengals’ history.
Bengals take a 7-3 lead on Andy Dalton's 198th career passing TD, a franchise record. pic.twitter.com/Nn6EG9T5Xu— Josh Kirkendall (@Josh_Kirkendall) December 1, 2019
The Bengals forced a three-and-out and got pretty good field position off the punt. Dalton was four for his first four, but on third down his pass fell through the hands of C.J. Uzomah. It should have been an easy touchdown, but the Bengals settled for a 24-yard field goal from Bullock to make it a 10-3 game with 9:13 in the second quarter.
Uzomah made up for his drop on the next drive by keeping his feet in bounds for a spectacular catch when Dalton was scrambling outside the pocket. Boyd drew a deep pass interference penalty that set the Bengals up on the 5-yard line, and Mixon ran the ball in from there to get his second rushing touchdown of the year. With 1:46 left in the half, the Bengals were now leading 17-3.
The Jets desperately tried to cut into the Bengals’ largest lead of the season. Sam Darnold passed for 69 yards on the drive, but couldn’t even get into the red zone. Ficken kicked a 39-yard attempt, and with four seconds left in the half, the Bengals took a 17-6 lead into the locker room.
The Bengals’ defense did a good job of limiting Le’Veon Bell and forcing Darnold to throw the ball. When Darnold dropped back, he was under pressure.
The Bengals’ passing attack was back for the first drive of the second half, but flag stalled the drive. Bullock missed the 48-yard kick against the wind, so the Jets took over on their own 38-yard line.
This was the best game the Bengals played this season, but the Jets put on a disastrous performance in all phases of the game. Following a punt, Kelvin Beachum held Andrew Brown in the end zone, so the Bengals were awarded a safety. With 6:18 in the third quarter, the Bengals’ lead was increased to 19-6.
The Bengals added a 47-yard field goal from Bullock on the ensuing possession, turning the safety into a five-point swing. The Bengals were now leading 22-6 with 1:15 to go in the quarter.
There was little offense to speak of in the fourth quarter, so the final score remained 22-6. The Bengals improved to 1-11 with their first win in the Zac Taylor era. The Jets dropped to 4-8, now losing their second game to a winless team.