Mr. Versatility, otherwise known as Brad Smith, provided second half fireworks for New York's running attack and special teams return game. Gang Green opened the second half with a bang, galloping 69 yards on just two plays. On the initial play of the drive, Sanchez found Santonio Holmes on a 16 yard slant pattern advancing the ball near midfield to the Jets' 47 yard line. On the next play, Brad Smith took a reverse from quarterback Mark Sanchez and turned on the jets as he scooted 53 yards untouched for the score. Smith provided the grand finale with an electric 89 yard kickoff return with 12:23 remaining in the final quarter. The Jets lead would swell to 24-10, as Brad Smith carved up the Bengals coverage team like a Thanksgiving turkey. Remarkably, Smith ran the final 50 yards with only one shoe as the cleat on his left foot was knocked off during the return. Smith had a Thanksgiving game to remember as Mr. Versatility produced two touchdowns, running all over the Bengals, faking himself out of his own shoes, LITERALLY!
The Bengals gained possession with 2:54 remaining in the first half, from their own 37 yard line trailing 3-0. Carson Palmer was as all gravy for Cincinnati, trudging the Bengals down to New York's 11 yard line. On 2nd and 10, Palmer slung a pass to Terrell Owens who was turkey sandwiched between Eric Smith and Drew Coleman as the ball popped out for an incompletion. The officials ruled that Coleman led with his helmet and assessed the Jets with an unnecessary roughness penalty giving the Bengals a first down from the five yard-line. A couple plays later, wide receiver Jordan Shipley spotted a crease in the Jets zone coverage and Palmer promptly hit Shipley for the five yard score. New York's defense was crippled by the questionable roughness penalty - unable to hold the Bengals to a field goal. Cincinnati boisterously made their way to the tunnel at halftime with a 7-3 edge as the Jets marched off the field to a chorus of boos after their final drive of the half produced a missed Nick Folk field goal.
"The guys believe that momentum is heading our way," uttered Head Coach Rex Ryan. "We know it's going to happen but we have to make it happen. We believe in each other. We always say we're going to win we just don't know how. We know that upsets people but we don't care. We know what our goal is, our goal is to win the whole thing. And we're well on our way."
The New York Jets have won 62 games in a row when leading by at least eight points in the fourth quarter, which marks the longest active streak in the NFL.
EXTRA BIG STAT:
For first time since 1977, a Jets wide receiver ran for a touchdown and returned a kickoff for a touchdown in the same game. Brad Smith accomplished quite a feat, with his spectacular moves in the open field, providing the Jets with the extra boost to earn the victory.
MAYBE YOU MISSED:
James Ihedigbo leveled Bengals cornerback Leon Hall, disposing of Brad Smith's last obstruction en route to the returner's 89 yard rumble for a score. Ihedigbo also alertly recovered a punt that ricocheted of the helmet of Cincinnati wide out Andre Caldwell. The safety's unheralded special teams play was instrumental in sending the Jets off with a win on Thanksgiving night.
After three straight cardiac games, all of which were won on their final offensive possession and two of which went into overtime, the Jets finally got to enjoy a fourth quarter for a little bit. With questions surrounding the defense stemming from some recently sloppy play, the unit shutdown a solid Bengals passing attacking and got after Carson Palmer in the second half. Oh and Terrell Owens was limited to three catches for 17 yards by the "average" Darrelle Revis.