|Other Week 18 Game Recaps|
|BAL at NE||GB at ARI||NYJ at CIN||PHI at DAL|
Week 18 Game Recap: New York Jets 24, Cincinnati Bengals 14
New York Jets
|QB Mark Sanchez, Pass: 12 - 15 - 182 - 1 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 3 - -2 - 0|
Other than a pass that was batted down at the line of scrimmage, Mark Sanchez was flawless. The other two incompletions came on drops by Dustin Keller and Braylon Edwards. Sanchez made great throws from the pocket and on the road, and was set up by great playcalls and a strong running game throughout the contest. His sideline throws to Jerricho Cotchery were perfect and converted some key first downs, and Sanchez made an excellent throw on the move to Dustin Keller a long catch and run TD that gave the Jets control of the game. Maybe it is beginner's luck, but Sanchez completely outplayed his counterpart and did not look intimidated by the crucible that is the NFL playoffs.
|RB Shonn Greene, Rush: 21 - 135 - 1|
Greene got a lot work early after Thomas Jones was ineffective and the Cincinnati defense had no answer for his strength and fresh rookie legs. He ended up being the primary back for a lot of the first half, and his long run on a misdirection play tied the game up and righted the Jets ship. Greene's stamina contributed some good runs deep in Bengals territory in the fourth quarter to set up the FG that gave the Jets a two-score lead. They should continue to lean on him against San Diego next week.
|RB Thomas Jones, Rush: 15 - 34 - 1|
Jones ran hard between the tackles, but he only found a nice hole on a toss play running wide and a TD run up the gut. He is playing with an injured knee and brace that is probably affecting him, and he might continue to be the second fiddle next week vs. the Chargers.
|WR Jerricho Cotchery, Rec: 6 - 67 - 0 (6 targets)|
Cotchery has earned Sanchez's trust as a go-to target on third down, both on the sidelines and in the middle of the field. He converted two third and longs, including a 3rd-and-12 on the play before Dustin Keller's long catch and run TD. Cotchery also contributed two nice punt returns to help the Jets win the battle of field position.
|WR Braylon Edwards, Rec: 2 - 15 - 0 (4 targets)|
Edwards had a perfectly thrown deep ball hit him right in the breadbasket. The play is another in a long line of spectacular drops, and each one erodes the possibility of Edwards getting a lucrative long-term deal in the offseason. He did convert a big third-down catch to set up the Jets third TD, but Edwards continues to disappoint more than delight.
|TE Dustin Keller, Rec: 3 - 99 - 1 (4 targets)|
Keller ended up being the best weapon in the Jets passing game, taking a first down throw 43 yards to the house to give them their first lead of the day, and reeling in a 45 yarder to set up the their last score of the day, a Jay Feely field goal. Keller also threw an excellent block downfield on Greene's long TD run.
|QB Carson Palmer, Pass: 18 - 36 - 146 - 1 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 1 - 2 - 0|
Carson Palmer returned to the playoffs for the first time since suffering a knee injury early in the 2006 playoff game vs. the Steelers, and he did nothing to exorcise those demons against the Jets. Palmer was off high many times early, leaving his receivers open to take huge shots. When he tried to go back shoulder to Chad Ochocinco, there was a miscommunication and Darrelle Revis was able to get an easy pick. Cedric Benson was most of the Bengals offense on a day that should haunt Palmer for the entire offseason.
|RB Cedric Benson, Rush: 21 - 169 - 1, Rec: 3 - 12 - 0 (3 targets)|
Benson showed no rust or effects of the hip injury he suffered during the season, getting a good head of steam on almost all of his runs and always getting yards after contact. He was routinely getting to the second level behind great blocking. Benson's superior vision spotted holes and cutback lanes on most of his runs, and he ripped off a 47-yard TD in the second half to give his team hope. He will be the centerpiece of the Bengals offense again next season.
|WR Laveranues Coles, Rec: 6 - 48 - 1 (11 targets)|
Coles fumbled early, killing the Bengals momentum from a nice Bernard Scott kickoff return, but he redeemed himself with a nice route against Dwight Lowery in the red zone to account for the Bengals first touchdown. He was targeted frequently for some modest gains before leaving the game with an injury in the fourth quarter.
|WR Chad Ochocinco, Rec: 2 - 28 - 0 (6 targets)|
As expected by everyone except #85, Ochocinco was completely shut down by Darrelle Revis. He did draw a long pass interference penalty on Revis in the second half, but didn't get in the box score until the fourth quarter.
|WR Andre Caldwell, Rec: 2 - 25 - 0 (8 targets)|
Caldwell did not look 100%. He had trouble separating from Jets DBs, and drops on contested balls killed Bengals drives on more than one occasion. He went high to get a ball inside the five that he couldn't hold when he hit the ground, and Caldwell was generally ineffective as a secondary target, which was crucial since Darrelle Revis took Chad Ochocinco away for most of the game.