New York Jets, Cincinnati Bengals
New York Jets, Cincinnati Bengals, Getty Images

The Jets are doomed by a slow start but took steps in the right direction before medical disaster struck

Jets (6) 

  • PASSING: Joe Flacco (14-of-25, 132 yards, 1 INT)
  • RUSHING: Michael Carter (5 carries, 13 yards)
  • RECEIVING: Garrett Wilson (4 receptions, 46 yards)

Bengals (20)

  • PASSING: Joe Burrow (14-of-25, 215 yards, 2 TD)
  • RUSHING: Joe Mixon (8 carries, 13 yards)
  • RECEIVING: Tee Higgins (5 receptions, 93 yards)


Taylor Swift more than likely than not did not have the New York Jets on her mind when she sang “This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things,” but it could nonetheless serve as the team’s de facto anthem.

The latest casualty to the wrath of the football gods could well be Garrett Wilson, who took a hard hit to his upper body after making a big grab that was negated by an interception—because, of course, even first downs must end in disaster for the modern New York Jets.

In very, very, very early returns, Wilson was presenting himself as the long-sought answer to the Jets’ desires for a homegrown receiver. He earned a catch on all four occasions he was targeted, following up his late heroics on his return to Ohio on the perfect note.

Wilson walked gingerly off the field and into the Jets’ locker room before first-half play let out, so there’s hope that he could contribute to a potential comeback effort. If not, however, it’ll be up to his aerial compatriots to step up. Paging Corey Davis?

On the other hand, Breece Hall has continued to establish himself as a formidable aerial threat

The Kids Are All Right

The late victory over the Browns, exhilarating as the affair was, masked some glaring New York deficiencies, particularly on defense. Facing off against a Bengals team whose bread-and-butter is big plays— and one potentially on the brink of oblivion after starting 0-2— seemed like a recipe for disaster and things are playing out almost exactly how many viewing without green-tinted glasses saw it going.

Joe Burrow has already bested the 199 yards he put up against Dallas last week as the Bengals built their lead through the deep ball.

Having said that, the Jets’ fledgling defense appears to be growing up before our eyes … especially after a particularly scary sideline moment where Quinnen Williams engaged in a verbal war with a staffer. The second quarter saw them placed in more uncomfortable situations, primarily an interception that placed the Bengals only 25 yards away from the end zone, but the youngsters responded well to the tune of allowing only two field goals and a three-and-out.

They’ll have to be patient with the offense but what the Jets were able to do was a pleasant surprise.

Greg Up on the Competition

The Jets’ defense also must deal with the ever-looming threat of the automatic Evan McPherson on the Bengals’ sideline (more or less assuring points when they cross the New York 40) but Sunday’s game is perhaps the most hopeful afternoon the Jets have had in the kicking game in a long, long time.

Little more needs to be written about the demonic kicking carousel that has spun since Jason Myers’ departure, but Greg Zuerlein might finally be ready to end it after a slow start. His pair of boots (40, 50, and 52 yards out) that accounted for the Jets’ long scoring of the first two frames hint at a new level of innovation for this offense, one that can be more assured of points as a reward for its developmental progress.

It’s exactly what the team needs as franchise man Zach Wilson nears his return, which can’t come a moment too soon as Joe Flacco’s coach slowly reverts to a pumpkin.

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Geoff Magliocchetti is a veteran football writer with years of credentialed experience with the Jets and Giants. Email:
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