Bengals vs. Jets game recap: Everything we know

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The Cincinnati Bengals experienced a letdown game in New York against the Jets in Week 8, blowing a lead late en route to a 34-31 loss.

Entering the game after a 41-17 beatdown of the Baltimore Ravens, it was reasonable to expect the Bengals to blow the one-win Jets out of the building.

That didn’t happen, clearly, but the Bengals are still looking good in the overall standings and the issues from Sunday are certainly correctable. Here’s a look at important game notes and numbers.

Final score: 34-31

Oct 31, 2021; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) throws the ball against the New York Jets during the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Keys to the game

Oct 31, 2021; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; Cincinnati Bengals running back Trayveon Williams (32) celebrates after a Bengals touchdown during the first half against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Poor defense: The Bengals never looked in it defensively, and borderline unprepared. Typically, it’s the defense covering for the offense. This time it was the defense coughing up 512 total yards and making backup quarterback Mike White look great in the process…Ground woes: Cincinnati wanted to test a superb Jets run defense and did…to the tune of 16 carries for 41 yards (2.6 average) by game’s end. That played a big part in keeping things close, too…Joe Burrow: Who else? Burrow was seen on the sideline slamming his helmet in frustration at one point because the offense was leaving so many points on the board due to mistakes. Yet, he still wound up clutch in the second half and threw three touchdowns.

It was over when...

Oct 31, 2021; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon (28) celebrates his touchdown with tight end C.J. Uzomah (87) and teammates against theNew York Jets during the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

…the Bengals blew an 11-point lead in a matter of seconds late in the fourth. The Jets scored, failed a two-point try, tipped the next Burrow attempt for a pick and threw a touchdown on the next play to steal the lead.

Bengals' Top Performers

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) stretches before a Week 8 NFL football game against the New York Jets, Sunday, Oct. 31, 2021, at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.
Cincinnati Bengals At New York Jets Oct 31

QB Joe Burrow: 21/34, 259 yards, 3 TD, 1 INT

RB Joe Mixon: 14 rushes, 33 yards, 1 TD, 4 catches, 58 yards, 1 TD

WR Ja’Marr Chase: 3 catches, 32 yards, 1 TD

WR Tee Higgins: 4 catches, 97 yards

WR Tyler Boyd: 5 catches, 69 yards, 1 TD

LB Logan Wilson: 12 tackles

Edge Trey Hendrickson: 6 tackles, 1 sack

Injuries

Oct 31, 2021; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tyler Boyd (83) looks on before the game against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Rookie guard Jackson Carman left the game on a cart.

Important game notes

Cincinnati Bengals’ Ja’Marr Chase (1), right, celebrates his touchdown with Joe Mixon (28) during the first half of an NFL football game against the New York Jets, Sunday, Oct. 31, 2021, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

— Disaster of a start for the Bengals on both sides of the ball. Mike White looked like Peyton Manning briefly, starting 9-of-9 and giving the Jets a lead. The offense couldn’t get anything going either, even after starting at the one-yard-line after a Jessie Bates interception.

— At one point in the second quarter, the Bengals had five yards of total offense, letting a bad Jets team hang around even despite a pair of interceptions by the defense.

— The defensive game plan in the first half was perplexing, to say the least. White was permitted to dink and dump the ball all over the field for a 23-of-29 line with 217 yards.

— As expected, the offensive play-calling, at least, improved as the half went on. But a few key missed opportunities had Burrow slamming his helmet in frustration on the sideline.

— After a stumble out of halftime, the Bengals later went 75 yards over four plays, with Tee Higgins continuing his huge day before a Joe Mixon score. But even going up 24-17 wasn’t good enough with the way the defense had been playing.

— Curiously, Bengals coaches kept trying to make the running game happen, especially inside — which is a big no-no against the Jets, as it’s maybe the only defensive strength that team has.

— Joe Burrow put the team on his back in the fourth quarter, marching all the way down the field with a furious, improv-heavy drive as he scrambled to keep plays alive. He eventually found Tyler Boyd for his third passing touchdown on the day, making it a 31-20 game.

— Stunning turn of events late: Jets score, fail on a two-point try, tip a Burrow pass at the line of scrimmage for an interception, then throw a touchdown on the very next play to take a lead. Bengals blow an 11-point lead in a matter of seconds late in the fourth.

What's next?

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) takes the field to face the New York Jets during an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 31, 2021, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)

The Bengals get the Cleveland Browns in Week 9, the first Battle of Ohio this year.

That’s a big matchup for obvious reasons, but it’s also an important date because the Bengals then get the following week off, as Week 10 is the bye.

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