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Jets-Bengals Preview: Who Needs The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade When You Have New York Jets Football?

The New York Jets (8-2) Vs. Cincinnati Bengals (2-8)

Where: New Meadowlands Stadium (East Rutherford, NJ.)
When: Nov. 25, 8 p.m., EST
Television Coverage: NFL Network: Bob Papa, Matt Millen (I will mute TV when he speaks), Joe Theismann

Statline (I): Jets have won the last three meetings between the two teams, and eight of the last nine. They also demolished this team last year, knocking them out of the playoffs, and outscoring them, 61-14 in both games combined.

Statline (II): Jets are 3-3 all-time on Thanksgiving.

I bet you didn't know..... WR Brad Smith leads the AFC in kick returning, at 28.1 yards per return.


  • I look for WR Braylon Edwards to have a field day, with CB Johnathan Joseph QUESTIONABLE nursing ankle and neck injuries, and the recently-signed CB Jonathan Wade likely to start. Wade struggled earlier this season as a member of the Lions and is fresh off the street; he's been watching games this year sitting on his rocker (what Brett Favre should be doing).
  • Bengals are reeling, and have lost seven games in a row.
  • An injury-riddled Carson Palmer was in a walking boot on Tuesday, but is expected to play. 
  • The "slouch" will go up against the "average corner back" on Thursday. Revis held Owens the drama queen to just 6 catches for 44 yards in both games combined last year. Good luck, slouch.

KEY TO THE GAME: Good Luck Throwing On Revis And Cromartie, So What About Bengals' Secondary Targets?

John mentioned this earlier this evening in this piece, and this is something we've been talking about for a couple of weeks now. The Jets safeties have been extremely suspect in pass coverage, mainly Pool and Smith. Linebackers have also been sub-par, as both Harris and Scott's strong suits surround defending the run. 

TE Jermaine Gresham and WR Jordan Shipley have combined for 77 catches for 810 yards this season. Look for both to be very involved in the offense on Thursday.

NYDN's Manish Mehta, two weeks ago, alluded to teams looking to attack the Jets by throwing to tight ends, running backs, and WR3/WR4; rather than your traditional WR1/WR2. We mentioned it in the Browns' preview, and the Browns did not complete a single pass throwing against Revis or Cromartie until three minutes remained in the fourth quarter! 

John made some great points in his piece, and I'll re-post.

He [Palmer] still isn't spreading the ball around. Owens and Johnson are seeing most of his throws. Owens has 116 targets. Johnson has 95. Palmer also has a pair of excellent rookies, slot receiver Jordan Shipley and tight end Jermaine Gresham. Shipley only has 49 targets. Gresham has 63.

Shipley and Gresham have been productive. Shipley has 35 catches and 480 yards. Gresham has 42 catches for 330 yards. In other words, Shipley is catching over 70% of balls thrown to him, and Gresham is at an even two-thirds. Palmer doesn't look in their directions.         

Bottom Line

I don't know how to say this any other way: the Jets have the Bengals out-classed and out-skilled at every single position.

Bengals have some injuries which I think will affect their run defense, which is already bad as is (No. 23 giving up 118 yards per game). Losing DT Tank Johnson and S Chris Crocker to I-R will help the Jets pound the rock on Thursday.

The Jets passing game is clicking, and the Bengals can't stop the run. Too much balance for a struggling 2-8 team to defend against. If the Bengals stack the box, Holmes and Edwards will roast them in man coverage with no safety help. If they drop into coverage, Jets should be able to run the football for 4-5 yards per carry.

Three heart attacks in a row, but three victories nonetheless. Jets are due for a convincing win, and playing against the Bungles will allow them to do just that.

A struggling, regressing, injury-riddled QB with a head coach that I think should have been fired years ago. 

Jets 27, Bengals 16

(I want to apologize for writing a condensed preview this week, but it’s the short week, and it’s Thanksgiving. So I’d also like to use this spot to wish all of GGN a happy turkey day!)