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It was a beautiful October afternoon at the New Jersey Meadowlands today as the Jets came out of their bye week to face the win-less Cincinnati Bengals. Quarterback Carson Palmer was inactive for the game with an injury leaving Ryan Fitzpatrick to lead the Bengals into action.
It didn't start well for the Jets. On the 3rd play of the game, Brett Favre dropped back to pass and was sacked by Antwan Odom, fumbled and Chinedum Ndukwe recovered. He took the recovery 15 yards for the game's opening TD, putting the Bengals up 7-0.
The Jets answered on the ensuing drive, taking the ball on a drive that began on the Cincinnati 47, and ended after a string of 3 straight penalties on goal to go plays, with a Brett Favre 2 yard TD pass to Thomas Jones to tie the game at 7.
In the second quarter the Jets took advantage of good field position to put points on the board. After a 3 and out by the Bengals deep in their own zone, the Jets received a punt and began their drive at the Bengals' 34 yard line. Five plays later, Jay Feely connected on a 38 yard field goal to put the Jets ahead for the first time, 10-7. On the ensuing drive, Hank Poteat sacks Fitzpatrick, forcing a fumble that Calvin Pace recovered at the Bengals' 24 yard line. Thomas Jones ran in his second TD from 7 yards out, 3 plays later to extend the lead to 17-7. Cincinnati tightened the game up before the half, driving down the field 14 plays before Fitzpatrick ran the ball in from 1 yard out to close the gap to 17-14.
The Jets extend their lead again on their second drive of the second half. The Bengals go three and out again deep in their own territory, forcing another end zone punt. Leon Washington has a good return, to set the Jets offense up at the Bengals' 22 yard line. Three plays later, Jay Feely connected on his second field goal, this time from 43 yards out to make the score 20-14 in favor of the Jets.
The scored remained the same into the fourth quarter. The Jets took over at the Bengals' 41 yard line with 8:40 remaining in the game. 10 plays later, Thomas Jones scored his 3rd TD of the game, from 1 yard out, to make the lead 26-14, which is where it stayed after the Jets failed a 2 point conversion attempt. The Bengals drove to the Jets 26 yard line on the last drive but were unable to score. Final score 26-14 Jets.
Thomas Jones was the story on offense today, scoring 3 TDs in the game for the first time in his career. He added 65 yards rushing on 17 carries and 13 yards receiving on 3 catches. Brett Favre was 25-33 passing for a modest 189 yards and 1 TD, with 2 INTs. Jerricho Cotchery led the receivers with 8 catches for 85 yards.
For the Bengals, Fitzpatrick was 20-33 for 152 yards. He also led the team in rushing with 23 yards, the team never getting anything going on the ground. Chad Johnson led the receivers with 5 catches for 57 yards.
Next week, the month of winnable games continues for the Jets (3-2) as they go out to Oakland to face the Raiders.