Welp, they fell into the trap.
Here are the winners and losers from Cincinnati’s third loss of the season.
Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd
The drawback of Ja’Marr Chase shining was Higgins and Boyd taking backseats in the offense. With Chase having a relatively quiet day in New York, Higgins and Boyd stepped up. Higgins finished with a season high 97 yards on just four receptions, while Boyd grabbed three clutch receptions of his own in the fourth quarter touchdown, including a touchdown that should’ve sealed the victory.
Jessie Bates III and Germaine Pratt
Cincinnati’s defense survived only by turnovers, and they got a couple from Bates and Pratt. Bates notched his first interception of the season with a near pick-6 that miraculously didn’t lead to any points. He finished with eight tackles on the game and appeared to be playing through injury near the end.
Pratt also got in on the early turnover party with an interception of his own. He came away with six tackles.
The third Jets turnover was forced by Bell, who stripped Jamison Crowder after what was initially a big gain. Bell had a solid performance in run defense and even influenced a missed field goal early on. He was close on another field goal later in the game as well.
Coverage has been Wilson’s strong suit this year. That simply wasn’t the case Sunday. He was allowing receptions left and right in his zones and frankly looked sluggish on the field. Even in run defense he was late to react and was ineffective. He’s not going to like film review this week.
The Bengals’ No. 1 cornerback also had a day to forget. He got lucky that he didn’t give up an amazing touchdown to Keelan Cole, but he did give up an actual score two plays later to Braxton Berrios. He had his chance at redemption on the final play and missed what would’ve been a stuff near the line of scrimmage. Instead, Michael Carter ran through him and nearly picked up the first down. They converted the next play and ran out the clock.
Reiff had a tough matchup against Johnathan Franklin-Myers, and he had some bad moments. He allowed a strip-sack in the second quarter and got lost in a stunt that led to a sack on the Bengals’ final play of the game. His inconsistency this year has flown under the radar, perhaps this game will bring it into the spotlight.
Nobody expected Mike White to torch the Bengals like he did, but how could he not with all the time he was given in the pocket? Outside of a clutch sack from Trey Hendrickson, the vaunted Bengals’ pass rush did next to nothing against a Jets offensive line that was down its left tackle for most of the game. A truly horrendous showing from all the starters.
Lou Anarumo and Zac Taylor
Last week was when the NFL world finally started giving Anarumo and Taylor credit for their coaching abilities. Now they will undoubtedly be put back under the spotlight for failing to prepare their units against a team they should’ve defeated.
Anarumo’s defense looked like Swiss cheese against Mike White and Michael Carter. The Jets racked up 511 yards of offense...with MIKE WHITE AT QUARTERBACK. How is that even possible??? Carter accounted for 172 of those yards by himself.
But this will fall mostly on the head coach. This is one of the worst losses in Taylor’s coaching career. I didn’t think after two years of losing, the Bengals would let success and hype get to their heads so easily. Winning on the road is hard in the NFL, but this game was inexcusable, and you have to question the preparation leading up to it.