It seemed like the Jets came out to play on the opening day, as Todd Bowles’ team took a quick 7-0 lead and were on the verge of scoring again. Unfortunately, it all started going downhill from there on. The Gang Green failed to capitalize on the Bengals’ turnover, despite getting the ball on their opponent’s 35-yard line. PK Nick Folk’s blocked field goal attempt kept the score at 7-0 and seemingly changed the momentum.
The offensive line, one of the few bright spots in this game, played tremendously but QB Ryan Fitzpatrick was still having problems finding open targets. He looked erratic and his last minute interception that sealed the game for the Bengals was a fitting conclusion. His two prized receivers, Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker, were just as bad. When the Jets needed to gain 40-45 yards late in the game to get in field goal range, Marshall dropped a sure 25-yard completion that would have at least given the Gang Green some hope. Fitzpatrick targeted them 15 times, which resulted in just 5 catches for 69 yards and 1 touchdown.
On the defensive side, the line’s heroics were overshadowed by an abysmal performance of the Jets secondary. The once best cornerback in the game looked like a shadow of former self. Revis was allowing one pass after another and giving 10+ yard cushions, as he was afraid of getting beat over the top. The Dalton-Green combination proved to be lethal. The Cincinnati duo connected 12 times for 180 yards, including a 54-yard score that ended any hopes for the resurrection of the Revis Island.
On the positive note, RB Matt Forte seemed like a good offseason acquisition. He led the team in both passing (59 yards) and rushing (96 yards) and looked to be especially effective on screen passes. The defensive line also had a good game. They recorded 7 sacks, as DE Leonard Williams led the way with 2.5. The Bengals were also limited to just 57 yards on the ground but it didn't seem like they needed much of a running game as Dalton passed for 366 yards.