Two days removed from a drubbing at the hands of the Cincinnati Bengals, the 49-9 loss is still fresh in the minds of both the New York Jets players and their fans. The game was highlighted by struggles on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball.
After leading the Jets on a game winning field goal drive against the Patriots, Geno Smith failed to reach the end zone against a stout Cincinnati defense. Meanwhile, Rex Ryan's usual lockdown defense failed to contain what turned out to be an explosive connection between Andy Dalton and Marvin Jones.
"You think when they get out quick and go up 14-0 that you're going to put your feet in the ground and be able to fight back, but it's kind of like quicksand," said linebacker DeMario Davis. "The more we fought, the deeper we slipped."
Davis and his fellow defenders failed to bring down Andy Dalton once. While the scoresheet shows one sack for Gang Green, the number comes from Dalton running out of bounds for a two yard loss rather than throwing the ball out of play. The Bengals scored touchdowns on their first two possessions and then again on three straight at both sides of halftime. While the unit succeeded in keeping A.J. Green out of the end zone, Jones ended up torching them for 122 yards. Of his eight catches on the day, half of them were for touchdowns.
"We just have to be more efficient in our technique, in what we do, (and) listen what the coaches are asking us to do on the front end and the back end," said Davis on his defense. "I think you just have to keep driving towards doing the things we need to do to start fast."
The Jets will need a better start this week as they face the daunting task of foiling Sean Payton and the high powered Saints' offense. The key to limiting Drew Brees will be to eliminate his favorite target in Jimmy Graham. Earlier this year, the Patriots kept Graham from recording a catch in a full game and came out with a victory, albeit a nail biter finish. The Jets have had trouble with tight ends this year but need to come out strong if they hope to escape their next contest with their season intact.
"When you have a game where you have a low like that, pretty much you just want to let it go and start focusing on the next one so that we can come out and perform better next week," said Davis. "And that's what we're doing, focusing on the Saints."