If the Cincinnati Bengals expected a challenge from the New York Jets on Sunday, they certainly didn't get it.
Andy Dalton continued his personal surge, throwing a career-high five touchdown passes, including four to second-year pro Marvin Jones. The Bengals' defense equally was dominant, holding the Jets to three field goals and returning two Geno Smith interceptions fortouchdowns.
It was that ugly for the Jets, who failed miserably in their attempt to build off their dramatic win over the rival New England Patriots. Instead, it's two steps back. Perhaps more.
Here's what else we learned:
- It seems like just yesterday people were questioning whether Dalton was the answer in Cincinnati. He's squelched that chatter over the past three weeks, throwing for 1,034 yards with 11 touchdown passes and one interception in three wins. The Glowing Ginger Man is getting it done.
- This was the worst defensive effort of the Rex Ryan era, a complete meltdown at all levels of the unit. The secondary particularly was terrible. Antonio Cromartie hasn't been the same player since hurting his knee in practice three weeks ago. First-round draft pick Dee Milliner wasn't competitive before being benched in the second quarter.
- Marvin Jones' career stats before Sunday: 16 receptions, 247 yards, three TDs. Marvin Jones stats in three quarters Sunday: Eight receptions, 122 yards, four TDs. Sleep well, Rex.
- The GenoCoaster went into a straight vertical drop in the second half. The game was long decided by the time Smith threw pick sixes to Chris Crocker and Adam Jones, but this still stands as a significant setback in the rookie's development. In an act of mercy, Matt Simms replaced Smith early in the fourth quarter.
- The 6-2 Bengals have won four consecutive and reach the mid-point of their season with a 2.5-game lead over the second-place Baltimore Ravens in the AFC North. A division title is there for the taking.