Bengals Pass Week 1 Test With Late Win Over Jets

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Sep 11, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) looks over the Cincinnati Bengals defense in the second half at MetLife Stadium. The Bengals defeated the Jets 23-22. Mandatory Credit: William Hauser-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 11, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) looks over the Cincinnati Bengals defense in the second half at MetLife Stadium. The Bengals defeated the Jets 23-22. Mandatory Credit: William Hauser-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Bengals were able to survive an emotion-filled game with the New York Jets. Week 1 is in the books. Cincinnati passed the test.

The Cincinnati Bengals did their impersonation of the Kardiac Kids. If coach Sam Rutigliano had been at MetLife Stadium, he would have given the Bengals a standing ovation. In a game that was filled with emotions and memories, the final score was a stunner but not a shocker. Cincinnati held on to beat the New York Jets 23-22.

From the opening kickoff, the game was filled with the kind of raw responses that had been anticipated. The Jets were an underdog at home. Their displeasure with that line showed in the defensive line’s attitude. Andy Dalton was sacked seven times by Gang Green. But, each time he seemed to get up and gather himself. The typical Red Rifle smile showed through the disappointing play of the linemen.

Protecting Dalton has to be the prime directive from Marvin Lewis and Co. The Ginger suffered a few takedowns that could have repeated the Week 14 scenario of last season. If the Bengals are to continue their quest for another AFC North crown, the protection around their signal-caller will have to tighten up. Allowing the quarterback to become a tackling sled is definitely not an option.

Behind the shaky line, Dalton was able to deliver a sizzling performance. Dalton was able to connect on 23-of-30 passing for a blazing 76.7 completion ratio. His partner in crime, A.J. Green was efficient as usual.

Fantasy Island?

Green was able to invade Revis Island (aka Darrelle Revis) for a whopping 180-yard afternoon. Revis looked on in disbelief as Mr. Green turned on the afterburners and made an incredible 34-yard diving catch on the sideline. The expression on Revis’ face…priceless. 

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“It probably wasn’t one of my better games,” Revis admitted. “I can take a punch of the chin. He had a great game. They came in with a great game plan and they attacked us.”

The Obstacles

Thanks to a few halftime adjustments, the Bengals were a different beast in the third quarter. The indecisive play of the secondary calmed and the final numbers show Paul Guenther’s quick fix. Ryan Fitzgerald was held under 200 yards. But, playing in the AFC North will require better run defense. Giving up 152 yards rushing at five yards a pop won’t work. Yet, the defense did what was necessary to help manufacture a win.

The Bengals were without stars Tyler Eifert and Vontaze Burfict. But, the offense still had big moments and the D was able to flex some muscle. Overall, the game definitely lived up to its primetime billing.

Week 1 is in the books. The were able to toss their hat in the ring–once more–for division powerhouse. Now, the true test is on deck. The Stilluhs are waiting in Week 2. It’ll be another test of character.

Next: Better Late Than Never

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