New York Jets 22 – Cincinnati Bengals 23
On the 15th anniversary of 9/11, in an emotion filled Met Life Stadium, errors by the Jets and an impressive performance by Bengals receiver AJ Green led to an agonisingly close loss for New York. Green racked up 12 catches for 180 yards and a touchdown, torching Jets superstar cornerback Darrelle Revis on more than one occasion.
After a promising start, the Jets offense struggled in the redzone, scoring from only 2 of 5 attempts. Kicker Nick Folk, who made 100% of his attempts last year, missed a field goal and an extra point (for the first time in his career), and Ryan Fitzpatrick’s last minute interception lost Folk the chance of redemption. The Jets defensive line was dominant particularly on third downs, sacking Andy Dalton a career high seven times, with new nose tackle Steve McLendon showing that he is more than a decent replacement for Snacks Harrison.
However, the Bengals offense were still able to capitalize when it mattered, making the Jets secondary look sieve-like throughout the game. Andy Dalton threw for 366 yards and a touch down. Cincinnati took the lead in the third quarter when Jeremy Hill bulldozed his way up the middle and for a 12-yard TD run, a drive aided by Brandon LaFell’s 49-yard catch over cornerback Marcus Williams on third-and-18. Josh Shaw’s interception of Fitzpatrick ensured the Jets had no time to mount a further attack. If this season doesn’t work out as planned, this will be looked back at as a game the Jets should and could have won.
Seattle Seahawks 12 – Miami Dolphins 10
No one really expected that Miami had a chance against a great on paper Seahawks team at Century Link field, but the Dolphins pushed the 2013/14 champs close. A low scoring affair, with more points scored in the final quarter than the rest of the game combined, the Dolphins couldn’t quite hang on to the lead.
It was a tale of field goals and a lot of punting, until Ryan Tannehill’s 86 yard touchdown drive in the fourth quarter. This was quickly followed by Russell Wilson, struggling with a twisted ankle he picked up courtesy of Ndamukong Suh, putting together his own 14 play touchdown drive to secure the win.
The Dolphins had their chances, with Kenny Stills missing a long ball from Tannehill which would have almost certainly been a touchdown and a missed field goal too. Miami’s receivers did not get going, managing a mere 10 yards against the Legion of Boom, prior to the touchdown.
Tannehill completed 16 of 29 attempts for 186 yards. Suh and Mario Williams came away with one sack each (Miami had three in total) and for most of the game the defense looked solid. That was until the final drive when things unravelled. This was one of the toughest assignments on the Dolphins schedule and despite the game lacking fireworks, they matched up well against the Seahawks. It was just a case of so close but so far this time and a loss that was seconds away from a different outcome.
Despite pushing talented opponents close, both the Jets and the Dolphins enter week 2 with an 0-1 record. The Jets have a short week, playing divisional rivals Buffalo on Thursday night football. Miami face Jimmy Garropolo and the Patriots on the road in Foxborough next Sunday.
Pics: newyorkjets.com & miamidolphins.com