It was not the highlight reel performance Jets fans had hoped for as quarterback Mark Sanchez couldn't establish a connection with his receivers. #6 was erratic, misfiring to open receivers on multiple plays in the first half. Sanchez totaled 166 yards, one touchdown and a costly interception to linebacker Rey Maualaga on a telegraphed pass. Santonio Holmes was a bright spot for New York snaring a 13 yard touchdown pass in the third quarter to extend the Jets advantage to 17-7. Overall, the passing game was stagnant and nonexistent, a major surprise given the Bengals depleted secondary.
The dynamic duo of LaDanian Tomlinson and Shonn Greene was overshadowed by Brad Smith as his spectacular 53 yard reverse for a score jump started the Jets in the third quarter. Shonn Greene came on strong to put the finishing touches on a 26-10 Jets dismantling of Cincinnati. Greene finished the day with 70 yards on 18 carries, while Tomlinson amassed 49 yards on 13 carries. The ground and pound was good enough on Thanksgiving night.
PASSING DEFENSE: Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie were as good as advertized, silencing the always chatty Terrell Owens and Chad Johnson. Owens and Johnson combined for seven receptions and 58 yards, held to a long of 12 yards and without a touchdown. Cromartie and safety Jim Leonhard tallied an interception of Carson Palmer who totaled a season low 135 passing yards as well as a low in completions with 17. Trevor Pryce put the icing on the cake getting in for a safety on Palmer with 6:52 remaining in the final period.
The Bengals running game was stuffed like a Thanksgiving turkey as they totaled a dismal 46 yards on 20 carries. Cedric Benson was non-existent as Calvin Pace made six solo tackles plugging the gaps and dropping the Bengals tailback. Cincinnati abandoned their ground game as they faced a two score second half deficit falling into a pass happy attack, which was equally unimpressive. Revis still average, Mr. Owens?
The Jets return game was in full force as Brad Smith took an 89 yard kickoff return to the house, leaving the Bengals and his left shoe in the dust. Safety James Ihedigbo alertly recovered a fumble that ricocheted off Andre Caldwell's helmet, effectively ending the Bengals comeback hopes. Punter Steve Weatherford had a punt tipped in his own end zone, setting up the Bengals with prime field position inside the Jets 30 yard line, which the Bengals turned into three points. Nick Folk missed a 44 yard field goal before halftime that would have closed Cincinnati's lead to a single point – ironic since he nailed an attempt moments before that whistled dead due to a Bengals timeout. Overall, the special teams play was stellar, enabling Gang Green to cruise to victory.
Gang Green opened the second half with Brad Smith's reverse play, producing a touchdown and firing up the crowd. The passing attack seemed stalled but was buoyed by a solid ground game and some creative calls such as Brad Smith's third quarter end run for a touchdown. The Jets defensive schemes confounded Carson Palmer, with Owens and Johnson completely phased out of the Bengals attack. The offense must get in gear, heading into a road game against the Patriots.