Kicker Mike Nugent drilled a 47-yard field goal with less than a minute left to get Cincinnati’s season started off right. The kick accounted for the final points of the Bengals’ 23-22 win over the New York Jets. The Bengals have now won their past 3 season openers, and it’s a big first step for the team toward another trend of theirs: Making the playoffs.
Andy Dalton earned his paycheck today. The sixth-year veteran threw the football for 366 yards and a touchdown, but he himself was thrown around all day by the Jets’ D (7 sacks). He may not need ibuprofen for the pain, though, as AJ Green’s stats (12 catches, 180 yards, 1 TD – much of that against Pro Bowler Darrelle Revis) should help him feel better.
In our last article, one of the battles we said to keep an eye on was the Bengals’ running attack versus the Jets’ stout rushing defense. The number should not surprise anyone –Cincinnati’s ground game eked out just 57 yards, and starter Jeremy Hill only mustered 31 of them.
Despite having an almost 9-minute edge in time of possession, the Jets were outgained 381-340. It didn’t help that they committed 7 penalties for 95 yards, and it REALLY didn’t help that Cincinnati defensive end Margus Hunt showed up like he did, defending 2 passes and blocking a field goal in the first quarter. The Jets’ kicking game suffered another why-did-this-happen-now moment when Nick Folk broke his streak of 312 PATs with a wide-right attempt after WR Eric Decker‘s second-quarter touchdown catch.
It was the first win for the Bengals in their last 10 tries in New Jersey. Next up: a visit to Pittsburgh on September 18.