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Have a day, Carlos Dunlap. The veteran Bengals pass-rusher notched three sacks and a number of other pressures. The Jets' tackles simply had no answer for his combination of power and speed.
Sam Hubbard had a versatile and effective day. On the first drive of the game he was targeted three times in coverage, but the bulk of his positive work was against the run. He did an excellent job of defeating blocks on the edge and getting inside for multiple defensive stops.
Like Sam Darnold, Andy Dalton‘s production was limited by his own help's propensity to drop the ball. In particular, his tight ends dropped two would-be touchdowns in the first half, and the receivers stalled out a couple of drives that otherwise looked promising. Nonetheless, it was a solid return to action for the veteran signal-caller.
Tyler Boyd was unstoppable in the first half, as he carved up the Jets' secondary for a number of big grabs. His best play was his touchdown reception, as he split two coverage defenders on a post pattern and absorbed hits from both to secure the score.
Darnold's accuracy waned late as the Cincinnati pass rush took control, but it was his receivers that kept him off the scoreboard today. He made a number of strong throws at the intermediate level, especially in the first half, only to see a large number of balls dropped by his skill players.
The offensive line continues to be a problem, as it was unable to open holes in the run game and was unable to protect the edge in pass pro. Right tackle Brandon Shell probably struggled the most, as Dunlap had a field day with him.
The Jets' scheme asked off-ball linebacker Neville Hewitt to cover a lot of ground in coverage, and the Bengals took advantage early. He was responsible for a number of big plays in coverage, and it was clear that as long as Cincinnati was willing to pass, they were attempting to isolate him.
Cincinnati struggled to finish drives and put the game away, which was in large part due to the play of Steve McClendon inside. He gave the interior of the Bengals fits on run plays, making it very difficult for running back Joe Mixon to find clean lanes.