New York Jets lose a close one in season opener against the Cincinnati Bengals

Within their reach, little mistakes plague the Jets on opening day.

East Rutherford, N.J. - Seven sacks from the defensive line wasn't enough as the Jets let this one go against the Bengals 23-22. Leonard Williams led the way for Gang Green with 2.5 of those seven sacks. Last season, Williams had a total of three. He had six total tackles and five QB hits. 

"There are small mistakes that we made here and there that cost us the game," Williams said on the loss. "We're going to watch film and fix the small details."

New York started the game on defense and they started strong. They held Jeremy Hill to a yard on the ground and then the Bengals hurt themselves with a false start. After the pressure of the crowd forced Andy Dalton to call timeout, Lorenzo Mauldin started the sack party and took down Dalton for a loss of one. On the Jets drive, Ryan Fitzpatrick was 4-for-6 with 40 yards in the air and four on the ground with the drive ending on a Quincy Enunwa 3-yard touchdown. The score was set up by a pass interference call in the end zone in which Jalin Marshall drew. 

The defense continued to be locked in, as Steve McLendon got his first sack in green and white. He finished the day with two and five total tackles. After an incomplete pass and Cincinnati penalty, Dalton's pass was picked off by Marcus Williams. Taking advantage of the turnover, Matt Forte took a pass out of the backfield for 24 yards to put his team in the red zone for the second time in two drives. On the day, Forte finished with 27 touches and 155 yards in his New York debut. The drive wouldn't end the way the Jets wanted it, as Nick Folk's kick was blocked by Cincinnati's Margus Hunt

Cincinnati would strike on the next drive, which was set up by a 54-yard reception from C.J. UzomahMike Nugent would nail a 33-yard field goal a couple plays later to cut the deficit to four. Following a New York punt, Dalton capitalized on a secondary miscommunication and hit Green one-on-one against Revis 54 yards to put his team up three. 

"[Green] had a great game. I can take a punch on the chin," Revis said on Green's performance. "[Cincinnati] definitely came in with a good game-plan and were able to attack our defense in a lot of ways."

The next couple of series for the Jets were a success, mostly. Jalin Marshall refused to go down on the kick return, taking 65 yards to the Bengals 39. Fitzpatrick hit Eric Decker in the corner of the end zone for the 15-yard score. Folk, however, would miss the extra point. On the Bengals drive, New York would sack Dalton twice and then go down the field to kick a field goal on their own drive. The half would end with the Jets up 16-13. 

Interesting stat: Brandon Marshall and Decker were targeted a combined 15 times, but were only able to come away with five catches for 69 yards and Decker's lone TD grab.

The third quarter opened with New York punting twice and Cincinnati punting once. The Bengals then took a 20-16 lead on a drive that began on their own 8-yard line. Falling to 3rd-and-18, Dalton hit Brandon LaFell for 49 yards to put his team in range. From 12 yards out, Jeremy Hill powered through the Jets front seven for the touchdown. Of the Bengals 381 total yards, only 57 of them came from the ground.

New York took their next two offensive possessions all the way down to the Bengals 2 and 6 yard lines, but could only come away with a pair of field goals to put them up 22-20. After being one of the top red zone offenses last year, the Jets went 2-for-5 today in their season debut with added weapons. 

"We've got to do a better job of executing," said Fitzpatrick. "I felt like that was the big difference in the game today, not taking advantage of some of those opportunities for us and settling for field goals." Fitzpatrick finished the day 19-for-35 with 189 yards and two touchdowns to go along with an interception.

A couple mental mistakes and that missed extra point would play downfall for New York, as Cincinnati drove 55 yards and killed plenty of time on the clock to kick the game-winning field goal. The Jets would get the ball back with 54 seconds but a drop by Marshall, an errant pass to Decker, and then an interception would be all she wrote for the Jets.

"Each group made their mistakes, but we're not going to sit here and lick our wounds," said head coach Todd Bowles. "We have a game Thursday night. We have to correct them in a hurry, turn around, and play."


No one on the injury report.


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