Cincinnati Bengals vs. Jets: Winners and Losers

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Loser: Special Teams

Aug 16, 2014; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals safety Danieal Manning (38) runs with the ball against the New York Jets in the second half at Paul Brown Stadium. The Jets won 25-17. Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

The concern over the play of the special teams unit continues to grow following Saturday’s game.  The unit as a whole was best described as awful.  The best thing the unit did was return only a couple of kicks and punts cleanly; the three all being punt returns by either Adam Jones or Brandon Tate, none of which were returned for substantial yards.  There were six other combined returns.  One kick return resulted in a fumble by Dane Sanzenbacher, the other five resulted in either holding or illegal blocking penalties.  The returns themselves were less than spectacular.  The best return of the day was for 23 yards, which got the Bengals to their own 23, but an illegal block resulted in a 10 yard penalty.

To make matters worse, the Bengals punt team allowed one of Ken Huber’s punts to be blocked, which resulted in a safety and two points for the Jets.

On a brighter note, Huber had five other punts for which he averaged 47 yards and had two downed within the Jets’ 20 yard line.  Mike Nugent also converted his only field goal, a 42 yard attempt.  At least the kicker and punter are doing their jobs.

If the unit doesn’t improve its play, the Bengals will have a hard time putting themselves in favorable positions to score while keeping opponents off the scoreboard.  This unit simply needs to do better as its unfair to relentlessly put additional pressure on both your defense and offense.  Expect the Bengals to prioritize special teams play when making their final selections for the 53-man roster.