For however good the Jets thought they were after their remarkable comeback victory last week in Cleveland, they’re definitely not good enough to overcome the rash of dumb penalties and mistakes they made in Sunday’s 27-12 loss to the Bengals at MetLife Stadium.
Where to start?
How about with the penalty for roughing the passer by defensive tackle John Franklin-Myers on third-and-9 from the Jets 26-yard line in the first quarter with Cincinnati leading just 7-6?
That extended the Cincinnati drive and, four plays later, led to a 56-yard Joe Burrow scoring pass to Tyler Boyd and a 14-6 Bengals lead.
On the play, Burrow had released the pass (which was incomplete), and Franklin-Myers pushed him to the ground while he was already falling. It wasn’t an egregious, violent action, but it was unnecessary nonetheless.
“I don’t think it was a great call, but they called it,’’ Franklin-Myers said. “I didn’t even push him to the ground [he did]. I didn’t finish him by any means. Even he didn’t agree with the call and was like, ‘What?’
“It was one of those calls that was f–ked up, but it’s football. That’s a mistake on my part, and I have to be better than that. [One] hundred percent, it hurt us. That was my fault. I’ve got to be better.’’
Jets receiver Corey Davis needed to be better, too. In the fourth quarter, with the Jets trailing by 15 points and in the red zone, Davis and Bengals cornerback Eli Apple got tangled up, and he grabbed Apple’s facemask and was called for a personal foul, pushing the Jets from the Cincinnati 14-yard line to the 29.
That ended up stalling a drive that could have reduced the game to a one-score deficit.
“I just can’t do that,’’ Davis said. “I know I’ve got to keep my composure. I just lost my cool. I know I can’t let that happen.’’
Neither can Jets safety Jordan Whitehead allow a dropped interception chance happen in a still-close game in the second quarter.
Whitehead had a Joe Burrow pass, deflected off the hands of tight end Hayden Hurst inside the Jets 20-yard line, in both of his hand, and he failed to hold on. Three plays later, the Bengals took a 20-6 lead on a 43-yard field goal.
“I dropped it,’’ Whitehead said afterward. “Tipped ball … you’ve got to catch that. For sure, I’ve got to make that play.’’
This was a theme to the day for the Jets, who lamented their own mistakes more than the plays the Bengals made on them.
Mistakes like a second miscommunication in the secondary in two weeks with rookie cornerback Sauce Garner and linebacker Quincy Williams covering Bengals running back Joe Mixon in the end zone while Cincinnati’s No. 1 receiver Ja’Marr Chase was completely unmarked and caught a TD pass for a 27-9 lead.
“Even the best of teams can’t overcome a wave of self-inflicted wounds,’’ Jets defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins said. “The things that we can control, we’ve got to control them and we’ve got to control them fast.’’
This content was originally published here.