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Highlights of Jets' 25-17 Win at Cincinnati

Posted Aug 16, 2014

Green & White Roar Back from Rough 1st Quarter to Improve to 2-0 on the Preseason

The Jets put a lot of emphasis, more than usual, on Saturday night's second preseason game. "This is going to be a big test for us," head coach Rex Ryan said during the week.

If that was the case, the Green & White had a case of pass/fail in the 25-17 victory over Cincinnati at Paul Brown Stadium that improved their preseason record to 2-0. The first quarter was closer to a fail as Andy Dalton and the Bengals, much as they did in last October's 49-9 win, moved on two substantial touchdown drives and a field goal march to take a 17-3 lead.

But the second quarter got the passing grades as rookie S Calvin Pryor emerged bigtime and the "D" got after backup QB Matt Scott while on offense Geno Smith made some timely completions to augment the running of Chris Johnson and Bilal Powell to make it a 17-16 game in the home team's favor at the half.

The first quarter was at least understandable with the patchwork secondary Ryan and DC Dennis Thurman had to assemble after the injuries to Dee Milliner, Dimitri Patterson, Dexter McDougle and Jeremy Reeves. Safety Antonio Allen got the much-discussed start at one corner, Ellis Lankster was the starter on the other side, and Jaiquawn Jarrett moved in alongside Dawan Landry at safety.

"We had five corners down. That's probably not an ideal situation," Ryan said after the game. "But again, we'll make it work. We've got a lot of good football players so we'll make it work one way or another."

Second-year DT Sheldon Richardson had a similar take on the first 15 minutes.

"They moved the ball pretty aggressively down the field," said Richardson. "What's understood doesn't have to be explained. They made big plays early in the game but we fought back."

So which quarter of the first half should the first team be judged on? Let the debate begin, but don't expect the players to engage in it much. After Sunday off, they begin their week of preparation for their 46th annual preseason matchup with the Giants at MetLife Stadium on Friday.

Jets' Defensive Plays of the Game

After struggling in the first quarter much as they did last year against Dalton & Co., the Jets defense finally struck in the second frame when backup QB Scott came on, and a major player in the strike was Pryor, "the Louisville Slugger."

On his big play, Pryor, the first-round pick who sat out last week's preseason opener while finishing up the NFL's concussion protocol, came hard up the middle, dreads bouncing, on the blitz. So did ILB Demario Davis, who got to Scott first and stripped the ball from the first-year man. Pryor pounced on the loose ball at the Bengals 19 for his first big contribution as a Jet. Four plays later, Bilal Powell scored.

For those turnover mavens at home, that was our second recovery of an opponent's fumble in three quarters, after going the last 11 games of last season without a fumble recovery.

Pryor also added a pass breakup with an artful hit on WR Cobi Hamilton and a PD in the backfield in the third period, and made his first contribution of the night on the first punt of the night with an ankle tackle on Adam Jones.

Jets Offensive Plays of the Game

It was a tossup between Chris Johnson and Bilal Powell as both ran with authority in the second quarter to lead the offense back from two touchdowns down to a 1-point deficit.

With Chris Ivory (ribs) sitting out, Powell cut left off of Ferguson's block for a 2-yard score to cut the Bengals' advantage to 17-10.

“It felt good," Powell said about making his season debut after also sitting out the opener with an injury. "You look around this locker room, on and off the field, this team has a good bond. I was excited to finally get out there with the guys.”

Johnson had a 15-yard glide around the left side before that Powell score, then after Powell's 32-yard burst CJ went for 12, 5 and 9 yards to the Cinci 1-yard line to set up Geno Smith's play-fake into Johnson's gut and then a jog off the left side again for the score to make it 17-16.

Johnson finished with 64 yards from scrimmage, Powell with 54.

Jets' Special Teams Play of the Game

Rookie IK Enemkpali came up big again in the fourth quarter. His outside bullrush led to a clean rejection of Kevin Huber's punt from his own end zone for a safety and a 25-17 lead with 11:56 to play. It was our first preseason blocked punt since Eric Smith, now a coaching intern, blocked one against the Giants in 2010, and our first safety since a team two-pointer at Washington also in '10.

Quick Hitters

■ WR Clyde Gates came through, going 17 yards with a bubble screen from Michael Vick, cutting off of a block by T Ben Ijalana, and getting just enough of the ball across the plane before losing the handle and stepping on the sideline to survive the touchdown review. That gave us a 23-17 lead with 13:26 left.

Stephen Hill finally had a preseason catch, and it was a dandy, a leaping 17-yard snag from Geno Smith on third-and-16 in the second quarter. Geno was the NFL's leading QB at third-and-11-plus conversions last season.

■ The QB numbers: Smith completed 10 of 13 passes for 98 yards and one interception. Vick went 5-for-9 for 70 yards and the touchdown to Gates. Rookie Tajh Boyd made his pro debut in the final period.

■ The penalty flags were flying from referee Ed Hochuli's crew. In the first half alone the Jets were hit with eight penalties for 95 yards while Cincinnati was flagged six times for 45 yards. For the game we were 12-133, the Bengals 11-92.




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VIEW: Preseason Week 2: Jets at Bengals
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WATCH: Pryor Makes His NFL Debut Saturday Night
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