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A History: Jets vs. Bengals

Al Bello

The Jets lead the all-time series 17-7, while outscoring the Bengals 628-489 in the process.

December 8, 1968: The Jets (9-3) looked to continue their best season in the franchise's young history facing the Bengals (3-9) late in the season. Led by future Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Namath, New York got off to a quick start in their first ever meeting against the Cincinnati Bengals. Receivers George Sauer and Don Maynard both caught first quarter touchdowns via Broadway Joe. Despite the quick start and superior record, Cincinnati was able to cut the deficit to 10 points after a Paul Robinson rushing score by halftime. In the fourth quarter, now leading 20-7, New York allowed the Bengals to have comeback dreams after a fumble at their own one yard line was recovered for a touchdown. Babe Parilli, who threw 15 times in this game, would toss a touchdown pass of his own later in the quarter, extending the Jet lead to 27-14, and giving Gang Green a win in their first game against the men in orange and black. New York would continue this run into the playoffs, where Namath would come through on his brash guarantee and deliver the Jets first and only Super Bowl title.

December 21, 1986: The Jets (10-5) faced off against the Bengals (9-6) in Week 17 of the '86 season. Winner of this game would be guaranteed a higher seed in the AFC playoff picture. The game could not have gotten off to a better start for New York, who took a 7-0 lead right out of the gate on a Bobby Humphery 96-yard kickoff return. The Jets and Bengals went back-and-forth throughout the first half, as Freeman McNiel ran for two early touchdowns for New York while Stanley Wilson and Cris Collinsworth (circa Bengal QB Boomer Esiason) reached the end zone as well, leading to the Jets up 21-17 at the half. This is where things would get bad for New York. Esiason and the Bengals offense exploded in the third quarter, converting three touchdowns—all from Esiason—to Collinsworth, Rodney Holman and Anthony Munoz. The Cincinnati bludgeoning continued in the final quarter, as Esiason threw his fifth touchdown pass of the day—and connecting with Collinsworth for the third time—and Larry Kinnebrew rushed in for a score of his own. The Bengals won by a convincing 52-21 score. The Jets went on to defeat the Kansas City Chiefs 35-15 in the Wild Card Round of the playoffs, and then dropped an excruciating game to Cleveland in double overtime.

December 16, 2001: The Jets (7-5) met against the Bengals (4-8), looking to continue their playoff push. The first half of this game was mostly defense, as the two teams combined for just one touchdown coming off of a one-yard run by Bengal runningback Corey Dillon. Much of the same occurred in the third quarter, as the only score came off another run by Dillon, this time for a robust three yards. The Jets continued to struggle to put points up, as they entered the fourth trailing 14-3. A Jet loss would put a major crimp in their postseason hopes as both the New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins were ahead of them in the AFC East. Realizing this, New York sprung back to life after a Vinny Testaverde touchdown pass (and failed two-point conversion) to James Dearth cut the lead to 14-9. After the Jet defense stood up time in time again, all New York had to do was get one last good drive on offense, and that's exactly what they did. From two yards out of the end zone, Anthony Becht caught a touchdown pass from Testaverde, giving the Jets a one-point edge over Cincinnati. Gang Green went on to win the game and while they finished third in the AFC East at 10-6, they made the playoffs as the #6 seed, where they lost 38-24 to the Oakland Raiders in the opening round of the postseason.

January 9, 2010: After defeating them in a win-and-in regular season game the week prior, the Jets (9-7) once again faced off against the Bengals (10-6) except this time it was in the postseason. Despite having the #1 overall defense and rushing attack in the NFL, the Jets were playing the role of underdogs on the road. The scoring opened with Laveranues Coles—who had fumbled on a drive earlier in the first—caught a touchdown pass from Carson Palmer in the corner of the end zone, giving Cincy a 7-0 lead. The Jets broke through in the second quarter, as rookie back-up runningback Shonn Greene took a counter-pitch from—fellow rookie Mark Sanchez—39 yards to the house, knotting the game at 7 a piece. Later in the quarter on a play-action fake and roll out, Sanchez found Dustin Keller who caught, ran and tip-toed along the sideline for a 45-yard touchdown, giving the Jets their first lead of the playoffs. In the third quarter, New York added to their lead with a rushing score from Thomas Jones, making it a 21-7 game. Cedric Benson rushed for a touchdown in the fourth, cutting the lead to seven, however it could have been closer had Shayne Graham not missed two field goals. Jay Feely would add a field goal of his own and the Jets wound up defeating the Bengals 24-14, delivering the first playoff win of the Rex Ryan era.

After throwing at least one touchdown in 52 consecutive games, Tom Brady has now been held to zero two times this year... by the Bengals and Jets. Now these two defenses will face off in a big game on Sunday, pitting third year quarterback Andy Dalton against the rookie Geno Smith. The Jets will have their hands full as they'll have to attempt to contain superstar receiver A.J. Green, all while protecting Smith from Geno Atkins and the rest of the Bengals stout defensive line. Cincinnati is favored by 6.5 points entering Sunday's match-up but if the Jets can protect their quarterback and make sure he makes little to no mistakes, they'll have a chance to get to 5-3.