The result of the first New York Jets game in the 2012 Preseason was a loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, 17-6, but Jets fans got to see many new faces get started with Gang Green. Our first weekly wrap up of the 2012 season will take a look back at what went down Friday night.
The Jets won the toss and received the opening kickoff. Austin Howard started at right tackle, despite being third on the left tackle depth chart, since Wayne Hunter was out with a back injury. Mark Sanchez was sacked to end the drive, a three and out. T.J. Conley's first punt was 50 yards. On defense, Kenrick Ellis started at nose tackle for Sione Pouha. When Cincinnati was in third and long the Jets debuted their new dime package adding Kyle Wilson at corner and Eric Smith at safety to Revis, Cromartie, Bell and Landry. Mark Sanchez did connect with Patrick Turner on two consecutive plays on the Jets third series, then he ran for the first down on the very next play. Unfortunately, Sanchez was sacked again several plays later on a second and eight. Two starting linebackers, Bart Scott and Calvin Pace were caught slow footed, when first Scott gave up 18 yards to Ben-Jarvus Green-Ellis on a third down and 10. Jermaine Gresham gained 19 yards on a pass play that beat Pace.
The Bengals would take those two big gains from the drive started in the first quarter and get down to first and goal at the five yard line. The Jets defense would hold however, and only allow former Jets kicker Mike Nugent to kick a field goal. Tim Tebow connected with rookie Stephen Hill for 12 yards as the drive continued, then he used his legs to run for 14 yards on third down and eight play. After a false start penalty on Austin Howard, who had moved over to left tackle, Joe McKnight had a nice run on first down and 20. Tebow ran for 10 more yards to eventually set up kicker Josh Brown, who connected on a 42-yarder to tie the game at three apiece. Quinton Coples blocked a Bruce Gradkowski pass on third down and force the Bengals to punt. Jay Richardson later hit Gradowski, force a fumble, but Cincinnati would recover. After the Jets drive stalled they were forced to punt, with T.J. Conley's punt being blocked and recovered by Cincinnati in the end zone for a touchdown.
The Bengals received the second half kickoff and started to drive down field, aided by Isaiah Trufant getting tied up in coverage with Marvin Jones who gained 45 yards on him. Eventually Cedric Peerman ran in it from the one yard line for his second touchdown of the contest. Jordan White made up for an earlier muff by taking the subsequent kickoff 32 yards out of the end zone to the Jets 27 yard line. Tim Tebow picked up another first down running, but would eventually be picked off by Vontaze Burfict on a pass meant for Jeff Cumberland. Garrett McIntyre recorded a sack of Gradkowski. Greg McElroy saw his first action since last preseason and threw a nice pass to Joe McKnight for about 22 yards getting the Jets into Cincinnati territory.
After both teams traded punts, Royce Pollard took a return back 18 yards to get up the Jets at the Bengals 38 yard line. McElroy hit Terrance Ganaway for eight yards, then Pollard for 13 yards. Hayden Smith missed a block that got McElroy sacked. Ganaway picked up 10 yards on the ground to put the Jets back in field goal range for Nick Folk, who connected from 38 to end the scoring for the night. McElroy was sacked a third time, giving Cincinnati five sacks on the night.
It was only the first game for the New York Jets since the loss to Miami that ended the 2011 campaign, and the offense was intended to be very vanilla. Now versus the New York Giants the Jets hope to install more that they have been practicing to get their timing and tempo up to the level Tony Sparano wants. The defense looks slow at linebacker, so hopefully that can be fixed by better situational substitutions.
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