Jets must eliminate bonehead mistakes to take pivotal next step

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Certainly, it is possible that those two plays may have been of no importance in the long run. The Bengals are the defending Super Bowl runners-up, and they sat salty and focused at MetLife Stadium, sitting 0-2, smarting after back-to-back defeats to Pittsburgh and Dallas, knowing the odds stacked against teams 0- 3 making it to the playoffs.

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And the Bengals mostly did as they did at MetLife Sunday afternoon, trailing the Jets 27-12 after fans brought them into the building after a spectacular return to Cleveland last week.

Even then …


Two bookend penalties, in either half, showed why the Jets – who have tangled pieces on both sides of the ball – are still a flawed perfect product. They were both unnecessary roughness punishments, meaning that both were avoidable – which is another way of saying that both were unforgivable.

First quarter: The Jets had shortened the Bengals’ lead to 7-6, and the defense held up Cincinnati, forcing an incomplete, forcing Burrow out of pocket in third place, Bengals stopped. aggressive machine. This should have been a big statement.

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Instead, there was a flag. John Franklin-Myers pushed Burrow after releasing the ball, then magnified the fault by falling, all of his 289 pounds landed on Burrow. Maybe it’s an insignificant 1975 drama. But everyone knows it’s not 1975; This is 2022. you can not do it. After three plays, Burrow struck Tyler Boyd for 56 yards and a 14-6 lead.

John Franklin-Myers kills the late Joe Burrows and is flagged for harassing a passerby.
John Franklin-Myers kills the late Joe Burrows and is flagged for harassing a passerby.
Bill Costroun/New York Post

“We were both surprised that he called it,” Franklin-Myers said, before admitting: “It’s a blazing play. But I have to be better at it.”

“If it’s difficult or not,” said Jets coach Robert Saleh, “he doesn’t have to do it.”

Nevertheless, to the Jets’ credit, they were still within two scores of the Bengals, 27-12, after two quarters. They were deep in the Cincinnati area. There was a crowd…

(…and everywhere, Jets fans seized with fury as the CBS feed just disappeared. Nearly 54 years after the Heidi game, the Jets were mini-Heidi-ed. And maybe it’s a different day.) Speaks of what Jets fans were really angry about. When the feed went down, instead of being grateful…)

And then Corey Davis, after being targeted by a flaco pass that was unfinished, started arguing with Bengals safety Alley Apple. It might have been fine. But then Davis raised his hand… and here comes another flag. Another 15 yards gone. And there, for all practical purposes, was the game.

Robert Saleh reacts during Jets' loss to Bengals.
Robert Saleh reacts during Jets’ loss to Bengals.
Bill Costroun/New York Post

“These two men are going back and forth,” Saleh said. “If he had put his hand down, nothing would have happened. But he grabbed their player’s helmet.”

And then, as if to summarize the day: “He must be smart.”

Davis said: “It hurts.”

Again, it was about more than two plays. Flacco ran for most of his life, which re-emphasized the Jets’ need for capable offensive line play and also inspired some crying for Mike White and his shorter, more mobile legs. The Jets also had Burroughs fleeing, but was never found for a major loss. And the secondary kept burning.

It is not losing to Bengalis, it is a pity. it is How They lost to Bengal.

Bengals are better than Jets. It’s hard to argue otherwise, but these jets are even better than last year’s jets, better than jets from recent vintages. They have better players. He has more playwrights. They fall short even when they play a team like the Bengals – again, defending AFC champs – so they need to rely on keeping mistakes to a minimum.

“We still had our opportunities,” Saleh said.

they did. There’s enough here—especially if Zach Wilson is able to hit the ground running, which could happen as early as next week in Pittsburgh—to expect better than the Jets have shown us in years. They will win a few games this year if they can honor it – and, clearly, if the coaches can drill them into the importance of maintaining their composure.

He didn’t on that Sunday. Maybe it doesn’t matter. Maybe Bengals desperate for victory, with urgency, even without help, were going to make their way back to the airport with victory.

Still…it would have been nice to find out.

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