Well, that was an ass-whoopin' if I ever saw one.
The Bengals definitely did not want to play this game. As soon as Brad Smith broke off that long run to set up the first TD and the defense smacked them around early, the Bengals packed it in, if any of them bothered to get up for it all.
And now the rematch next week in the playoffs.
It's definitely been an unlikely path to the playoffs for this Jets team. Looked good, looked horrible, looked okay, blew a couple, and looked good again.
I don't want to hear about how they somehow don't "deserve" to make it over teams like Pittsburgh or Houston or Denver. All those teams were just as inconsistent and lost just as many games they shouldn't have as the Jets did. It's not like the Steelers were a "better" 9-7 than the Jets - they lost to Oakland and Cleveland in consecutive weeks, as well as losing to the Bears and Chiefs, who stunk this year.
Yeah, the Jets got a little lucky to play Indy and Cincy when those teams didn't have much to play for. But they got unlucky against Atlanta in that the field goal unit kept f'ing things up. And against Buffalo where Sanchez threw 75 interceptions.
The AFC wasn't all that good this year below Indy and SD and occasionally the Pats. The Jets were just okay enough to get in. I'm okay with it.
Will they beat the Bengals again next week? It's possible, especially with all the injuries Cincinnati has. And a team like the Jets that relies on defense and the run game always has a chance to win playoff games on the road.
If they manage to beat the Bengals, will they beat the Chargers or Colts on the road the following week? Not bloody likely. But they can give either of those teams a good game, and even making it that far with a rookie head coach and QB is about as good an outcome as we could hope for.
You want a team like this to get a taste of the playoffs. Because this is a team that appears to be gearing up to make a serious run over the next two years or so. It's good to get all the principals, especially Ryan and Sanchez, some playoff experience, so if they make it next year with a better, more consistent team, the pressure/hype/etc. won't be new.
For now, though, I'll enjoy a 37-0 prime time decimation of any team. The Jets don't get too many games like that, kicking that much ass when it counts, so I'll enjoy it regardless of circumstances.
Oh, and I'll also be in Cancun next Saturday. So there's a good chance I'll enjoy that game regardless of the outcome. If the Jets win, I'll be really happy. If they lose, I'll go back to my all inclusive resort and keep drinking.
Either way, I win (well, except for my liver.)