Final

Jets 31

(1-6, 0-4 away)

Bengals 38

(2-4, 2-1 home)

Coverage: CBS

4:05 PM ET, October 21, 2007

Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, OH 

1 2 3 4 T
NYJ 7 13 3 831
CIN 3 7 7 2138

Top Performers

Passing: C. Pennington (NYJ) - 272 YDS, 3 TD, 1 INT

Rushing: K. Watson (CIN) - 31 CAR, 130 YDS, 3 TD

Receiving: L. Coles (NYJ) - 8 REC, 133 YDS, 2 TD

Jets' second-half meltdown ends Bengals' losing streak

CINCINNATI (AP) -- Don't blame it all on Chad Pennington. This time, he had plenty of help.

The punter shanked one. The rookie cornerback had two interference penalties. The center snapped one early. The safety took a swing at a player on the ground.

All in one horrid half.

The Cincinnati Bengals took advantage of nearly every mistake by the down-and-out New York Jets on Sunday, rallying for a 38-31 victory behind the best performance of running back Kenny Watson's career.

The Bengals (2-4) snapped a four-game losing streak -- their longest during coach Marvin Lewis' five seasons -- with Watson playing like a star instead of Rudi Johnson's fill-in. The seventh-year runner with a half-dozen career starts had 130 yards and three touchdowns.

"You never know how the game is going to go," Watson said.

The Jets (1-6) often have an inkling.

They've already matched their loss total from last season, when coach Eric Mangini was dubbed the "Mangenius" for taking a previously 4-12 team to the playoffs. There's been nothing brilliant about their play this year.

In some ways, this one was the worst yet.

"It's just not good enough, and I'm tired of giving the same speech each week," Mangini said. "We're going to find out about every person in the locker room. It should hurt deeply. It's a matter of it's all got to get better."

Things haven't been so bad for the Jets since 1999, when they opened the season 1-6 under Bill Parcells before recovering to an 8-8 finish.

"It's tough for everybody from top to bottom," said Laveranues Coles, who had eight catches for a season-high 133 yards and two touchdowns. "For us to come this far and continue to lose is disheartening.

"You can't point fingers at Chad. You can't blame one guy. All of us stink, not just one guy."

Pennington was the heart of the Jets' playoff run last season, when he returned from his second major shoulder operation and won the Comeback Player of the Year award. This year, he's under fire for his dink-and-dunk passing and six interceptions in the last three games.

Fans have clamored for strong-armed Kellen Clemens to take over. So far, Mangini has resisted. He was noncommittal about his quarterback after the game, pointing out there were a lot of mistakes by a lot of players.

"The nature of this business, the quarterback is generally the fall guy," said Pennington, who was 20-of-31 for 272 yards with three touchdowns and a game-sealing interception. "When a team struggles, the first person people look at is the quarterback. But I don't blink, one way or the other."

Johnathan Joseph's 42-yard interception return put Cincinnati ahead 38-23 with 37 seconds left. Pennington threw a touchdown pass on the game's final play.

In the first half, the Bengals made the glaring gaffes. They were flagged for having too many players in a defensive huddle, and Carson Palmer was called for grounding on the final play before halftime, costing them a chance for points.

They calmed themselves and ground it out in the second half.

"We stayed patient," said Palmer, who was 14-of-21 for 226 yards with a touchdown and an interception. "We didn't ever freak out. We didn't ever think we weren't going to win the game. We never thought of being 1-5."

Instead, the Jets freaked out.

First-round draft pick Darrelle Revis drew a pair of pass interference penalties that extended Bengals touchdown drives during their comeback. Ben Graham's shanked, 20-yard punt set up the Bengals' drive to a 24-23 lead in the fourth quarter.

The mistakes kept coming.

Pennington was calling a play in the shotgun formation when the ball was snapped, resulting in a fumble that gave Cincinnati possession at the 50. The Bengals then drove for Watson's 2-yard touchdown with the help of a personal foul on safety Abram Elam, who threw a left-handed punch at Watson on the ground at the end of a run.

"We didn't play very good football at the beginning, but it's not how you start but how you finish," Bengals defensive tackle Domata Peko said. "We got some bounces. The ball finally bounced our way."

Game notes


Pennington threw a 57-yard touchdown pass to Coles on the Jets' third play. Pennington hadn't completed a pass of longer than 29 yards all season. ... Coles passed Curtis Martin into sixth place on the Jets' career receiving list. He also moved ahead of George Sauer into ninth for career touchdowns. ... Coles has six of the Jets' 10 touchdown catches. ... Joseph's interception was the first of his career. Joseph, a first-round pick last season, sat out a loss to Kansas City last week for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

SPONSORED HEADLINES

ESPNNewYork.com 

Team Stat Comparison

 
NY Jets
Cincinnati
1st Downs1926
3rd down efficiency
2-117-10
4th down efficiency
2-20-0
Total Yards342395
Yards per play5.86.3
Total Drives14
Passing258218
Comp-Att
20-3114-21
Yards per pass
8.310.4
Interceptions thrown
11
Sacks-Yards Lost
2-141-8
Rushing84177
Rushing Attempts
2641
Yards per rush
3.24.3
Penalties5-629-70
Turnovers21
Fumbles lost
10
Interceptions thrown
11
Possession26:0633:54

Passing Leaders

NYJC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Pennington20/312728.8312-14
CINC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Palmer14/2122610.8111-8

Rushing Leaders

NYJCARYDSAVGTDLG
Jones19673.5012
Washington3113.708
CINCARYDSAVGTDLG
Watson311304.2312
Dorsey7233.307

Receiving Leaders

NYJRECYDSAVGTDLG
Coles813316.6257
Cotchery66010.0132
CINRECYDSAVGTDLG
Johnson310234.0056
Holt45413.5018

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERNYJCIN
TD10:23Laveranues Coles 57 Yd Pass From Chad Pennington (Mike Nugent Kick) 70
FG05:47Shayne Graham 20 Yd 73
SECOND QUARTERNYJCIN
FG11:38Mike Nugent 24 Yd 103
FG09:11Mike Nugent 35 Yd 133
TD03:08Kenny Watson 3 Yd Run (Shayne Graham Kick) 1310
TD00:49Laveranues Coles 36 Yd Pass From Chad Pennington (Mike Nugent Kick) 2010
THIRD QUARTERNYJCIN
FG11:15Mike Nugent 43 Yd 2310
TD03:41T.J. Houshmandzadeh 3 Yd Pass From Carson Palmer (Shayne Graham Kick) 2317
FOURTH QUARTERNYJCIN
TD13:31Kenny Watson 1 Yd Run (Shayne Graham Kick) 2324
TD06:09Kenny Watson 2 Yd Run (Shayne Graham Kick) 2331
TD00:37Johnathan Joseph 42 Yd Interception Return (Shayne Graham Kick) 2338
TD00:00Jerricho Cotchery 32 Yd Pass From Chad Pennington (Chad Pennington Pass To Leon Washington For Two-Point Conversion) 3138