After failing to score a touchdown against the Texans, the Jets’ first team offense surely welcomed the additions of center Nick Mangold and wide receiver Plaxico Burress—playing his first professional game in 33 months.
Missing from the game, however, was starting running back Shonn Greene, dealing with a skin infection on his right foot. The Jets were still without starting right guard Brandon Moore, recently activated from the PUP list after having hip surgery in February.
Head coach Rex Ryan was desperate for some offensive signs of life, especially in the red zone; an area the Jets struggled mightily in last season. What he got was an inspiring display from the passing game (including the triumphant return of No. 17), which was minus WR Derrick Mason (knee).
Against a Bengals offense that will surely contend as the league’s worst, the Jets defense was sound and opportunistic, collecting three interceptions, including a pair of picks from starting safeties Eric Smith and Jim Leonhard. Even without starting linebackers Bart Scott and Calvin Pace, the Jets defense looked dominant.
Here’s a look at 12 winners and losers from the Jets victory.