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Shrek Smiles on D’s Big Day vs. Bengals

Posted by Randy Lange on October 12, 2008 – 7:45 pm

Do you remember Shrek, Jets fans?

I don’t mean Shrek the Third, Shrek 2 or Shrek the Movie. I mean the Shrek Game.

“No, I never heard of that,” cornerback Darrelle Revis. “What is it?”

“Yeah, I remember that game,” said defensive end Shaun Ellis with a smile. “It wasn’t like today’s game, though. Both teams were plodding that game. This game was moving.”

Even Kris Jenkins remembers the Oct. 28, 2001, encounter with Carolina at Ericsson Stadium. That was the big nose’s rookie season — as a Panther.

“Yeah, we were 1-15 that year,” Jenkins said. “I’m trying my best to forget about that. That’s going to haunt me for the rest of my life.”

We bring up the Jets’ 13-12 victory that day not to aggravate Jenkins nor to torture Green & White fans who thought they forgot that victory, so big, green and ugly that then-coach Herm Edwards dubbed it the Shrek Game and brought movie posters and pointy green ears into the team’s complex the next week because the animated movie had come out a short while before.

We bring it up because that’s how long ago the Jets gave up fewer yards on defense than the 171 they yielded to the Bengals in today’s 26-14 victory over Cincinnati.

“For real?” said Revis.

Word. There’s the 162 yards the Panthers squeaked out that day, and then almost seven seasons later comes the next-best figure today. Put another way, this was the best yardage showing of the Eric Mangini/Bob Sutton era of Jets football.

“That,” said linebacker David Bowens, a Dolphin at the time, “is impressive.”

Furthermore, Bowens said, “That’s a compliment to the work we did during the bye week. The key was they hit us here and there, but we stayed consistent.”

“Coach Mangini spent a lot of time with the defense during the bye week,” said DB Hank Poteat, who contributed on a blitz with his first strip-sack since he separated Brooks Bollinger from ball for New England during the last Monday night game shown on ABC in December 2005. “He’s a defensive guy, and it was almost like being back in school again.”

You’ll forgive the Jets if they aren’t giving this one back because the critics will insist on pointing out that the Cincinnati quarterback of record was Ryan Fitzpatrick and not Carson Palmer (sidelined by his aching right elbow). And because, for example, when the Jets needed to stop the visitors at the end of the first half, the Bengals instead mounted a 66-yard drive that included their first six first downs of the game and ended with their only TD to cut the Jets’ halftime lead to 17-14.

“We wanted to come out strong in the second half because we didn’t finish the first half the way we wanted to,” said LB Calvin Pace. “We wanted to come out with a good tempo and end the game the way we started it. We wanted to go out there with a lot of enthusiasm to get the offense the best field position possible.”

So instead of Arizona’s five consecutive TD drives two weeks ago before the bye, Cincinnati had four punts and an end-of-game drive that ended on the Jets 26.

Pace did his part. His four solo tackles may seem tame, but consider he had a tackle for loss, followed by a fumble recovery to set up Thomas Jones’ second TD, a quarterback hit on Fitzpatrick, a sack and a forced fumble, and finally a third-down stop of Fitzy that set up the punt that set up TJ’s final TD.

And how about Jenkins? He also had a modest four-solo line with none of Pace’s bells and whistles. But he again led the run defense, which shut the Bengals down — 43 yards on 21 carries, with Fitzpatrick coming in as the leading rusher with 23 yards on six carries, some in self-defense.

“We did a good job,” Jenkins said about the run D. “At one point it was a 1.8 average. If we can keep them down like that, then we’re doing our job.”

Not all the Week 6 results are in, but as I write this, the Jets’ run defense is third in the NFL, allowing 69.0 yards a game.

And their pass rush is tied for first, at least as far as their 18 sacks — five more coming against Fitzpatrick — are concerned.

This isn’t an attempt to dazzle you with numbers, but the defensive effort was a big part of putting away the proverbial dangerous wounded Bengal that had come into their North Jersey home.

“We weren’t pretty today,” Leon Washington, who was pretty effective with his career-high 77 punt-return yards and 65 kickoff-return yards, said about the offense. “We made a lot of mistakes. It just goes to show the way we were able to finish this game. The defensive played well and special teams picked it up for the offense with field position.”

And the defense for the third straight season of Mangini-ball came out of the bye week with a powerful effort.

Were the Bengals hamstrung without Palmer and with a banged-up T.J. Houshmandzadeh? No question. But even battered and bruised teams are dangerous (see Rams 19, Redskins 17). And we’ll see if the Jets defense can grow from this effort in the coming weeks, but it sure didn’t hurt.

“When you’re a part of something that’s good, you see the things out there,” Revis said. “It’s totally different from last year … the sack strips, the interceptions … it just shows me we’re working hard. We’re watching film extra, we’re doing extra the things to be good.

“The Giants did it last year. I’ve got a couple of friends over there,” Revis continued (he may have said hello to a few of them as he was arriving today while Big Blue was departing for Cleveland and their Monday night affair vs. the Browns. “They told me they went the extra step. That’s the thing you have to do.”

Here are the fewest yards the Jets have allowed in a game in the last 10-plus seasons, since the start of 1998 (home team in CAPS):

 Season Final Score Plays Yards Avg
 2000 RAVENS 34, Jets 20 55 142 2.6
 1998 JETS 20, Dolphins 9 52 153 2.9
 2001 Jets 13, PANTHERS 12 56 162 2.9
 2008 JETS 26,  Bengals 14 59 171 2.9

A Pair of Threes

Jones’ three touchdowns today, paired with Laveranues Coles’ three TDs vs. Arizona, marks the first time in the NFL that two different players scored three TDs in back-to-back games since Reggie Bush and Mike Karney turned the trick for the Saints in December 2006.

And it’s the first time this has happened for the Jets since Emerson Boozer had three TDs (two rushing, one receiving) at Buffalo and TE Rich Caster had three more (all receiving) at Baltimore to start the 1972 season.

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Posted in Randy Lange | 39 Comments »

39 Responses to “Shrek Smiles on D’s Big Day vs. Bengals”

  1. By Drew on Oct 12, 2008 | Reply

    When the awful Rams beat the red-hot Redskins us Jet fans should be happy for an ugly win like today. Jenkins and Pace make a huge difference to this defense. The open up plays for Harris and Ellis. I know we played an backup QB but the Bengals never really had a chance to win the game…..This is a game alot of Jet fans were worried about ….it’s a W and we move on.

  2. By Jeremy on Oct 12, 2008 | Reply

    That’s great! I wont bash Sutton on this one, merely b/c the players made plays. Jenkins with Pace on the edge and Harris behind him and the occasional Rhodes, and hopefully Elam in the future on the line the Run D is very solid. But, lets not forget how they allowed the Bengals to throw the ball and make some drives that had all of us on edge! Nobody should be surprised that TJ had a great game!

  3. By Dan on Oct 12, 2008 | Reply

    Where are you getting the stats for the Jets vs.Colts game from 2000? The Jets won that game 27-17.

  4. By neal on Oct 12, 2008 | Reply

    jenkins is a beast.

  5. By roger on Oct 12, 2008 | Reply

    i just wanna know how he Jets gave up 34 points on 142 yards to the Colts in 2000. I don’t remember that game.

  6. By Randy Lange on Oct 12, 2008 | Reply

    My mistake, Dan. It should read RAVENS 34, Jets 20. It is fixed now.

  7. By Randy Lange on Oct 12, 2008 | Reply

    My brain freeze, Roger. It was the Baltimore Ravens, who used two Jermaine Lewis punt returns to help them post their Christmas Eve shutout that season.

  8. By Ira on Oct 12, 2008 | Reply

    Randy, How could i forget that Shrek game. Didn’t A.Glenn come up with anINT to set up the go ahead FG? Jenkins could be one of the best p/u’s the Jets have made in years. He is the key to this entire defense.Leon and the defense gave the Jets great field position all day. Amazing stat about Boozer/Caster 36 years ago. Way too long in between. GO JETS!!!!

  9. By Xavion on Oct 12, 2008 | Reply

    Ill agree the win was abit ugly but, The Rams picked off a team people started calling one of the top teams in the NFL and the winless Texans stun the Dolphins in final seconds after a well played game and The Ravens Get stomped by the colts when they were the Number 1 D and this cincy team took both the Giants and Cowboys to the Brink. I appreciate the win and look FWD to winning more games

  10. By Xavion on Oct 12, 2008 | Reply

    And with the Dolphins losing today, and Patriots right now getting thrashed, ITs looking oh so much better if Chargers dont have a massive collapse we are back in a tie for second place with NE and headed for a trip to Buff where we can pick up a win and take control of the Division i have absolute faith That we will beat NE Next time… We are going looking good for Division Title

  11. By Ray on Oct 12, 2008 | Reply

    In spite of what the media, and mike ex, might say, the Texans beating the Fish was not an upset. Houston was favored the whole week. And even though they tried to hand miami and that awesome rookie HC the game, they still found a way to come back and win.

  12. By Row on Oct 13, 2008 | Reply

    X, easy on Division title, let’s just take it one game a week. I don’t like the scoring fest, throw it up puke offense. Goal line runs were much improved, a few times T-Rich didn’t have anyone to hit. Can anyone believe the TOP? We had the ball 10 minutes more then they did! Elam should have about 12 more starts this year, including a playoff one. Believe it or not, I’m a happy camper.

  13. By Jeremy on Oct 13, 2008 | Reply

    Randy, How can we hear what Leon was saying during the game since he was miked? He continues to shine on KR. Without the field position he setup who knows! Still think he got snubbed last year b/c the JETS were 4-12. TJ & Leon in the backfield together would be cool! Nice to see B. Smith touch the ball and get a first-like usual! Definetly need to keep Elam on the field and Poteat too!

  14. By Ira on Oct 13, 2008 | Reply

    Well if anybody is worried about ugly wins don’t tell that to Leon He set up 3 of their scores with returns and had a key 12-yard catch from favre to set up another. A win is a win and you move on to next week. Nice that the Pats lost. If the Jets just take care of their own business everything else will fall into place. Hope they stay with Elam. Next up Raiders. GO JETS!!!!

  15. By Randy Lange on Oct 13, 2008 | Reply

    Jeremy, mikings of players generally are aired on NFL Network and other NFL media outlets. I don’t know when Leon Washington’s miked comments will be aired, but if I find out I’ll pass it along to you.

  16. By Jesse on Oct 13, 2008 | Reply

    That was a ugly game, but we got the W and that’s all that matters. BF made some real bad throws but I know he’ll bounce back next week. KJ and CP on the defense is a real a big key addition. We’re tied with NE in the division and they got Denver next week, Buffalo got San Diego, and we r going to pound out Oakland. Everything is falling into place! Go Jets!!!!!

  17. By Jesse on Oct 13, 2008 | Reply

    Congrats to Thomas J on a great game! I knew he would pull through with some TDs on the ground and we are going to need him to do the same next week against Oakland!

  18. By Alex on Oct 13, 2008 | Reply

    The score board although close at one point was not accurate to the play on the field. Our defense allowed 7 pts. Our offense missed out on a minimum of 6 addfitional point with those two red zone picks. I liked the fact that we are going with a balanced attack with the offense but to me it seemed that Mangini was playing for that fg to get a 9 pt lead from the very start of the 3rd qtr.

  19. By BIG AL on Oct 13, 2008 | Reply

    TJ had a good game against a bad line and with godd field pos on his side he dont cut it there is no explosiveness from him and this o-line needs to better protect #4 so he does not get wild 2pick 1was tapped but still had no business throwing them period and yes afc is wide open but they need to control the east 1st 4 key games 1each NE/MIA 2 BUFF lets get those. and great win for the J-E-T-S

  20. By BIG AL on Oct 13, 2008 | Reply

    hey what is with ESPN MIKE AND MIKE NFL NETWORK no of these media sport channels spoke of or breathed a word about the JETS BENGALS game sportcenter had a 20 sec clip on the run downs what is with that they spoke of every sunday game except the jets i left for the office @ 9:10 and heard nothing no coverage thats just not right can some one explain

  21. By Frank on Oct 13, 2008 | Reply

    Might as well call this Shrek 2. All we did was manage in taking care of business by winning a game we should. There is still a lot of work to be done on both sides of the ball if we are to have any chance of making the playoffs. The Pats are tethering on the edge of the cliff the opportunity is there for the taking the coaching staff is still under performing and the team needs to improve.

  22. By Ira on Oct 13, 2008 | Reply

    Frank, The coaching staff is far from perfect but when you lose the turnover battle especially against Lewis who is 20-3 with +2 or better difference you did something right. Also in the Jets long history they would end up losing a game like yesterday’s. be happy with the win and move on and look to improve in all areas.

  23. By Martin on Oct 13, 2008 | Reply

    I didn’t hear much about the jets either on sportscenter. But i figure our team is under the radar. All everyone is talking bout is the pats and dolphins. Both are in our division and both lost yesterday. I would rather have it that way, than shifting all the attention on our team which makes teams study us more and figure out our gameplan. For clips go to nfl.com there is about a 3 min clip.

  24. By Frank on Oct 13, 2008 | Reply

    Ira believe me I am happy we won I predicted this on Friday. This was an awful football team we barely beat so no back slapping here. Still I agree a win is a win and we have lost these games in the past. There is no consistancy anywhere on this team except stopping the run in between the 20’s. I could have pointed out a lot of other things but I am keeping mum. Mangini and his staff must improve.

  25. By BIG AL on Oct 13, 2008 | Reply

    thanks Martin I too go there the video clips are mainly how I get the Jets plays and info but boy they did not once get into how the Jets played sunday it was everyone but us going to check this afternoon see if they aired anything

  26. By BIG AL on Oct 13, 2008 | Reply

    Hey Randy do you know? anything to as why the major sport networks would not give the courtesy for jets fans and air as much time to them as they do other teams or is it politics as usual

  27. By Randy Lange on Oct 13, 2008 | Reply

    Big Al, I’d say it goes week to week. Two weeks ago I thought ESPN et al. covered Brett Favre’s and the Jets’ record day vs. Arizona well. On Sunday, an unpretty triumph over winless Cincinnati wasn’t going to get as much love as Dallas-Arizona, St. Louis-Washington and Houston-Miami. Next week the dynamic will change again.

  28. By Ira on Oct 13, 2008 | Reply

    Frank, I am almost happy it was a so called close game because now they fly out to Oakland and they can’t over look them because they see they have work to do.

  29. By BIG AL on Oct 13, 2008 | Reply

    thanks randy makes sense, just as i opened the laptop i put on NFL network and there it went the jets bengals breakdown i started laughing and thought let me thank you keep up the great work we love your colums

  30. By mike on Oct 13, 2008 | Reply

    Hey I’m glad we’re not getting all the publicity. The Jets have a good group of guys quietly going about their business. It’s like a team full of Curtis Martin’s staying out of the spot light.The Media likes the big mouth T.O. type. Thats why they get all the attention. Look where it’s getting them. You see the self centered egotistical whiner all the time getting attention it’s a one man band.

  31. By Dan on Oct 13, 2008 | Reply

    Randy: The Titans uniforms made an ugly win even uglier. If you have any influence whatsoever, please, please, please no more Titans uniforms. Please!

  32. By Randy Lange on Oct 13, 2008 | Reply

    OK, Dan, I am decreeing it now: The Jets will not wear their Titans throwback unis anymore this season.

  33. By Frank on Oct 13, 2008 | Reply

    Hey Dan my thoughts exactly. Randy don’t be lying to us my eyes hurt after 2 weeks of those awful uniforms.

  34. By GL Edwards on Oct 13, 2008 | Reply

    This game wasn’t as close as it sounds. We held the ball for 10 minutes more, Cinci had 1 legitimate drive, our ball control offense worked good. Favre is leading the league in percent completions, 3rd in TDs, 4th in passer rating. Defense is 11th in total yards surrendered per game. Offense 6th in points per game. These are not the stats of a bad team.

  35. By GL Edwards on Oct 13, 2008 | Reply

    The uniforms are ugly, but the Jets have played their best games by far when wearing them. One reason might be because it’s blatantly obvious which player is on which team!

  36. By poobah on Oct 14, 2008 | Reply

    it’s great to be on the up side after a game the ‘same old jets’ would usually have lost. but we’re saying greta game to jones after 65 total rush yards. leon is great but take away the 1100 specail teams yards and the running game still looks weak. hopefully o line success is really all about

  37. By mike ex jet fan on Oct 14, 2008 | Reply

    Cont… Will say it again like I did be4 the cards game… Play unorthodox plan against the grain show new looks keep them confused .. I will guarantee we will get to the playoffs & maybe beyond >>This team & coaches are to predictable week in & week out When we win it makes it that much harder.. & this is my problem with mangini’s coaching .. Until then we are just the same old jets

  38. By mike ex jet fan on Oct 14, 2008 | Reply

    RANDY .. This 1 for u bud can I convince u into a debate with Adam schein about his negativity on all our NY teams… What’s up with him? Why is he working in aNy market if he thinks were so bad.. maybe no1 else will have him & don’t get me started on phill simms

  39. By Rick Roucoulet on Oct 14, 2008 | Reply

    Im dont want to get ahead of myself or jinx us but i just want to say that it sure does feel good to be on this side of the stick for once (Doing things correctly) I say this but still very humble – Oh who am i kidding – Goooo J-E-T-S JET JETS JETS – Lets go rattle the Raider nation or town or yard or whatever they call it

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