Jets fans: 5 things you need to know about the Bengals
The Jets host the Bengals on Sunday at MetLife Stadium in the regular-season opener. Here’s a primer on what they face in the Bengals:
1. DALTON RETURNS
Bengals QB Andy Dalton was having the best season of his career in 2015. Then, in Week 13, he broke his thumb while trying to make a tackle after throwing an interception. Suddenly, the season was over with 25 touchdowns, seven interceptions and a career-high 106.2 rating.
Dalton finally returns Sunday, and he’s hoping to pick up where he left off.
“I’ve got a lot of confidence in my ability, in what this offense can do, and the guys around me,” Dalton told reporters in Cincinnati on Wednesday. “So there definitely is a carryover. I mean, it was the best season that I’ve had, so for me it’s trying to improve on that.”
2. WHO’S OUT
Both teams will be without key pieces for this matchup.
The Bengals are missing Vontaze Burfict, the linebacker who was suspended the first three games of the season because of repeated violations of safety rules.
The Jets, of course, will be without defensive end Sheldon Richardson, who violated the league’s personal conduct policy. Richardson will be eligible to return for Week 2. Meanwhile, tight end Tyler Eifert still isn’t practicing with the Bengals and seems unlikely to play Sunday.
3. BITTER ENDS
The Jets are coming off their own tough finish to the 2015 season -- losing in Buffalo to miss the playoffs. But the Bengals might have had an even more cringeworthy conclusion to their season, with an incredible meltdown against the Steelers in the wild-card round of the playoffs.
This will be both teams’ first-game since their respective heartbreaks. But only one can get redemption.
4. FINDING THE ISLAND
Darrelle Revis is still one of the best cornerbacks in football, but Dalton won’t be worried about avoiding his side of the field -- Revis Island -- come Sunday. Not with Pro Bowl receiver A.J. Green out there.
“We feel like we have to trust our guys to win,” Dalton said Wednesday. “It’s one of those things, you go into, obviously, depending on certain plays and different reads and different things. For us, we trust our guys to win against whoever is out there.”
5. ALL-TIME SERIES
The Jets have dominated the all-time series against the Bengals, going 17-8 against Cincinnati, including two playoff wins. The most recent meeting between the two teams, however, was a 49-9 Bengals win at Paul Brown Stadium in 2013.