Bengals Pound Jets, 49-9
Andy Dalton and Marvin Jones did whatever they wanted against the Jets’ shocked defense.
Dalton threw a career-high five touchdown passes — four of them to Jones — as the Cincinnati Bengals drubbed the Jets 49-9 on Sunday, their first dominant performance of a promising season.
The third-year quarterback and second-year receiver went into the club’s record books as its top touchdown combination. Jones set a Bengals record for touchdown receptions, scoring on catches of 9, 6, 17 and 6 yards.
Dalton’s five touchdown passes gave him 11 in his last three games, his best such span. He’s the first quarterback to throw for five TDs against the Jets since Dan Marino in 1988.
The Bengals (6-2) won their fourth in a row and padded their AFC North lead by taking advantage of New York’s step-slow pass defense and its rookie quarterback, who had his worst day yet. Geno Smith threw two interceptions that were returned for touchdowns before heading to the bench early in the fourth quarter.
It was Cincinnati’s most lopsided victory during coach Marvin Lewis’ 11 seasons. The Bengals are 2½ games ahead of second-place Baltimore, which had its bye week.
New York (4-4) couldn’t break its pattern of win-one, lose-one. The Jets took their most lopsided loss since a 45-3 loss to New England in 2010.
It slipped away fast.
The Bengals got touchdowns on their first two possessions while the Jets managed only 1 net yard in the first quarter — their fewest for a quarter since 2009.
The Bengals figured they could take advantage of New York’s man-to-man coverage by throwing deep. Dalton’s line gave him plenty of time and he was on target most of the time, setting up a lot of big plays.
The biggest came from Jones, a fifth-round draft pick with a lot of speed. In his breakout game, he showed a good pair of hands and a few nifty moves, too. His 30-yard catch set up Dalton’s 4-yard touchdown pass to tight end Jermaine Gresham, who was uncovered in the back of the end zone.
A.J. Green also had two catches that went for more than 50 yards each as Dalton showed he can complete the long throw — one of his biggest deficiencies in his first two seasons. Dalton finished 19 of 30 for 325 yards with an interception and a sack.
Smith showed he’s still got an awful lot to learn. He was 20 of 30 for 159 yards with three sacks.
Down 28-6 coming out of halftime, Smith made two more glaring mistakes. Chris Crocker returned his first pass of the second half 32 yards for a touchdown. Early in the fourth quarter, Adam “Pacman” Jones ran another back 40 yards for a score, sidestepping the diving Smith to reach the end zone.
Smith has had three interceptions returned for touchdowns in the last two games. New England’s Logan Ryan ran one back 79 yards for a score during the Jets’ 30-27 overtime victory last week.
Bengals middle linebacker Rey Maualuga was taken off the field on a cart in the first half after hurting his left knee and apparently suffering a concussion while trying to make a tackle.
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