Playoff breakdown: Jets-Bengals
"You think we're going to show up and just lay down?" defensive tackle
You know the rest: in the freezing cold of the Meadowlands, the Bengals played shorthanded, without a half-dozen regular starters, while the Jets, fighting for their playoff lives, pounced early. The Jets outgained them 250 total offense to seven in the first half, and 320 yards to 72 for the game, on their way to a 37-0 win.
The Bengals, by Saturday afternoon, will have had less than six days to watch tape and figure out how the Jets rushed for 257 yards against their formerly second-ranked run defense -- 92 yards of which came on four carries by
It is then that we will see whether Week 17's outcome was a matter of simple motivation, or -- far worse for the Bengals -- one of talent.
"I don't know, what do you think?" Revis asked, with a laugh. "I guess I did."
Revis, in fact, had continued to bolster his reputation as the league's top cover man, holding Ochocinco, the five-time Pro Bowl selection, without a catch for the first time in 121 games, before Bengals coaches pulled him at the end of the first half. This is nothing new for the third-year corner: this season he has treated each of the top wideouts he's played --
Ochocinco had more than one-third of his club's receiving yards during the regular season -- 1,047 of 3,134 -- but if the Bengals are to mount any sort of aerial attack in their rematch against the Jets, they will have to plan to do it knowing that their main threat will be largely taken out of the game, by Revis. The return from injury of
"Defensively, the Bengals will get a lot of players back who didn't play last week. They'll get
"What we saw from Brad Smith was impressive, it really was. But it wasn't just this game. If you've watched the Jets the past two or three weeks, you saw on tape that especially with him under center, running some of those option plays -- the NFL in general is having a pretty tough time with that. The thing that I keep thinking is, when is he going to throw a pass? It's one thing to stop the option, bringing safeties down, but if all of a sudden he throws it -- and here's a guy who threw for more than 8,000 yards in college [as a quarterback at Missouri] -- I don't know what you do there. But I think a week of film study, plus the defensive starters the Bengals will have returning, will help them deal with him.
"I don't know if you go from that kind of physical whipping one week, flip a switch and turn it completely around the next week. But I do know that if the Bengals can't stop the run and put the ball in the hands of [Jets rookie quarterback]
A number of factors suggest the game won't be nearly as lopsided as last week's. The Bengals will be motivated; they will be at home; they will start nearly their full complement of regulars; they will use every trick in their playbook, which is something that they did not do last Sunday, Ochocinco insisted. If, as Collinsworth suggests, they are able to force Sanchez to attempt to make the big throws that he didn't have to make last week, then they might have a shot, as Sanchez has yet to demonstrate NFL-caliber accuracy and ranked second in the league in interceptions behind only