Bengals edge out Jets in first game of season


MCT Photo

Jeremy Hill crosses the end-zone in a game last year against the Raiders. This year, Hill scored a touchdown in the Bengals season-opening win over the Jets. Cincinnati defeated New York 23-22.

The offseason started with frustration, consisted of impatience, and ended with excitement, but fear not: Cincinnati Bengals football is back.

After a brutal loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in last year’s playoffs that extended the Cincinnati sports postseason curse, the Bengals returned to action to face the Jets in a new season this past Sunday on what was the 15th anniversary of 9/11.

“It was a really eventful day in the city with all of the New York sports teams and the U.S. Open tennis finals being played,” said Evan Weisser, 12, who made the trek to the Big Apple to witness the first Bengals game.

“The Star Spangled Banner and flag presentation were really meaningful with the circumstances; you could feel it in the stadium.”

With nothing but the goal of avenging their season-ending loss to the Steelers on their minds, the Bengals marched into MetLife Stadium and stole a win away from the Jets, narrowly defeating the hometown New Yorkers 23-22. Though Cincinnati got off to a slow and sloppy start, they were able to put points on the board and outscore their opponents. Despite the absence of injured and suspended teammates, a few Bengals made major contributions to the victory.

Wide receiver A.J. Green boasted a 180-yard performance on 12 receptions, one of which was a 54-yard touchdown catch. Also, quarterback Andy Dalton notched 366 passing yards, the fifth most in a game in his career. On defense, it was former USC Trojan Josh Shaw making an impact with a clutch interception.

“In general, I’d say the team looked really good considering how many players we lost in the offseason,” said Matthew Woodside, 11.

After this 1-0 start, the Bengals schedule rolls on. Yet three of their next five games are against ex-playoff teams: their first home game against the defending Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos, a road test against the red-hot New England, and road rematch with the Steelers.

“Even though I won’t be roadtripping for this game, I am really excited for the Bengals to have this playoff rematch with the Steelers because of all of the emotion that went into their last meeting,” said Weisser.