But the Bengals have yet to defeat the Jets since Rex Ryan took over, and Dalton’s predecessor, Carson Palmer, had some of the worst games of his career vs Ryan’s defense.
In three career games vs Ryan and his Jets, Palmer completed 38/82 passes for 311 yards with two touchdowns vs three interceptions. Three games and barely 300 yards passing shows how dominant Ryan and his defense can be.
But this is a more balanced Bengals offense that will have weapons all over the field, From their two dynamic tight ends, to their All-Pro receiver, to having a running back in Giovani Bernard who’s third on the team in receptions (25) on just 31 targets. This offense has too many weapons for any defense to be able to take account of.
The key will be in how well Dalton gets the ball to the ones in the best position to make plays. If A.J. Green is getting double-teamed, keep throwing to the emerging Marvin Jones. If the Jets press and try to stop the short-passing game, throw it up for Tyler Eifert or Jermaine Gresham to bring it down in traffic over the middle. And if all of those guys are covered, dump it off to Gio to pick up an easy 10+ yards.
This isn’t the ’85 Chicago Bears defense, and if Dalton can just make good decisions consistently on Sunday, the Bengals will go into the midpoint of the season at 6-2 and looking like one of the AFC’s elite teams.