EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The New York Jets fell one point and a few missed opportunities short of opening the season with a victory.
With a quick turnaround and a trip to AFC East-rival Buffalo up next, they’re staring at a potential 0-2 start for the first time since 2007. And, they’ve got plenty to clean up in a hurry.
“It’s tough, and it’s not what we wanted,” quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick said of the Jets’ 23-22 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday.
“We can’t feel sorry for ourselves or mope for too long because we’ve got one coming up in a few days.”
On Thursday night, the Jets will take on former coach Rex Ryan and his Bills, who are staring at a similar 0-2 start after a 13-7 loss at Baltimore.
Buffalo beat New York twice last season, including in the season finale — which kept the Jets out of the playoffs.
Since the NFL’s expanded playoff format was put in place in 1990, only 26 teams have started with at least two losses and made the postseason. Fitzpatrick doesn’t necessarily think that adds any pressure on the Jets heading into their game against the Bills.
“I don’t really buy into that,” he said. “I don’t want to start 0-2, though.”
Neither do the Bills. And the loser of that matchup will also be 0-2 in the conference.
“I don’t know what pressure is,” Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall said. “It’s just football. You just have to win them when you have the chance to play.”
Here are some other things to know about the Bengals and Jets after their Week 1 game:
ANDY STILL STANDING
The Bengals beat the Jets despite Andy Dalton being sacked a career-high seven times.
If the Cincinnati quarterback didn’t get rid of the ball quickly, he was routinely hit hard and/or sacked. Coach Marvin Lewis knows that the leaky line is one area that needs to improve starting next week against Pittsburgh.
“We’ve got to do better,” Lewis said. “We can’t give up seven sacks. Our quarterback will not make it through the season if we give up seven sacks a week.”
Dalton still managed to go 23 of 30 for 366 yards with a touchdown and one interception.
A.J. Green caught 12 passes for 180 yards, mostly against Darrelle Revis to help the Bengals beat the Jets for the first time in 10 meetings in New Jersey.
The Jets went into the game saying they would mix up the coverage on Green, and not leave only Revis on him. According to NFL Research, Dalton had a perfect 158.3 passer rating when targeting Green with Revis covering: 10-for-10, 152 yards, 1 TD.
“The whole week everybody was saying A.J. vs. Darrelle,” Green said. “Revis is a first-ballot Hall of Famer. It’s my honor going against him. I was just trying to make plays anytime the ball came my way.”
Meanwhile, the mystique around “Revis Island” might be fading. It was a rough start for Revis, who will have to take on Buffalo’s Sammy Watkins next.
“He had a great game,” Revis said of Green. “I can take a punch on the chin.”
RED ZONE IS DEAD ZONE
The Jets were the third-best team in the red zone scoring last season, and got off to a good start this year with Quincy Enunwa catching a 3-yard touchdown pass on New York’s opening drive.
They also had a 15-yard TD to Decker, but Nick Folk missed a 22-yard field goal on one trip and the Jets settled for field goals on two fourth-quarter ventures into the Bengals 20.
Those missed opportunities made the difference in the game for the Jets.
“We were just sloppy down there,” Marshall said of the Jets’ red-zone struggles. “Poor execution. It’s something we pride ourselves on. Didn’t get it done. … That was the poorest execution I’ve ever seen on our side in the red zone since I’ve been here.”
Folk has been as automatic as they come when it comes to extra points, so his miss on Sunday was a bit stunning. After all, it ended a streak of 312 straight made PATs.
He had also set the NFL record for most extra points without a miss with 322 overall, including the playoffs.
Couple that, though, with his blocked 22-yard field goal attempt earlier in the opening quarter, and there might be some slight concern over the reliable veteran, who held off Duke rookie Ross Martin in training camp.
“You just have to move on to the next kick,” Folk said. “We made the next three field goals, whatever it was. You just have to put it behind you and start a new streak.”
The Jets’ defensive line had a big day, and it gets a key player back against Buffalo when Sheldon Richardson returns from a one-game suspension.
Richardson had to sit out as a result of his 2015 arrest after driving at high speeds in Missouri, which violated the league’s personal conduct policy. The Jets’ pass rush was OK without him, though, notching the team’s most sacks since getting eight against Buffalo in 2013.