EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — Joe Burrow threw three touchdown passes and the defending AFC champion Cincinnati Bengals got their first victory of the season, rolling past the New York Jets 27-12 on Sunday.
After opening 0-2 with a pair of three-point losses, Burrow insisted there was no panic or Super Bowl hangover for the Bengals. And they came out aggressive against the Jets, who fell flat after a stunning comeback win last week at Cleveland.
Burrow finished 23 of 36 for 275 yards with TD throws to Samaje Perine, Tyler Boyd and Ja’Marr Chase.
Joe Flacco, who led the Jets’ 13-point rally in the final 1:55 last Sunday, struggled against the Bengals in what will likely be his final start with the injured Zach Wilson expected to return next week. Wilson, who was injured in the preseason opener, is recovering from a bone bruise and arthroscopic surgery on his right knee.
Flacco was 28 of 52 for 285 yards and two interceptions, and was under pressure all game. The fans at MetLife Stadium chanted a few times to play backup Mike White — who rallied the Jets to a 34–31 win over the Bengals last season.
Meanwhile, Burrow marched the Bengals (1-2) down the field on a 10-play, 75-yard opening drive, capped by Perine’s 12-yard touchdown catch.
Burrow was 8 of 10 for 95 yards on the drive during which Cincinnati thought it got into the end zone two other times. Boyd had a 4-yard TD catch wiped out by a holding penalty on guard Cordell Volson. Two plays later, Tee Higgins’ acrobatic catch was ruled — and upheld by video review — out of bounds in the end zone.
Greg Zuerlein’s 50-yard field goal on the Jets’ opening drive made it 7-3.
New York’s defense got a takeaway when Chase fumbled after a 5-yard catch and C.J. Mosley recovered. The Jets (1-2) stalled, though, and settled for a 40-yarder by Zuerlein.
John Franklin-Myers made a costly mistake for New York when he was called for unnecessary roughness after landing on Burrow, whose third-down throw was incomplete. Given a new set of downs, the Bengals took advantage.
One play after rookie Sauce Gardner made a terrific play by knocking away a deep pass to Chase, Burrow threw to Boyd, who avoided a tackle by Jordan Whitehead and raced for a 56-yard touchdown to make it 14-6.
Another bad play from the Jets helped the Bengals get on the scoreboard again. Burrow completed a 45-yard pass to Higgins, who took a helmet to the head from Lamarcus Joyner, who was called for unnecessary roughness. It put Cincinnati at the New York 15, and McPherson booted a 22-yarder moments later.
The Jets’ next possession was rough as rookie Garrett Wilson, who had two TD catches last week, caught a 13-yard pass and took a shot to the ribs from Jessie Bates III. After being looked at for several minutes on the field, Wilson got up on his own and headed to the X-ray room. He was able to come back.
Three plays later, Logan Wilson intercepted a poorly thrown pass from Flacco. It resulted in a 43-yarder by McPherson.
Trailing, 20-9, the Jets opened the second half with yet another mistake — and it cost them again. Trey Hendrickson had the first of his two strip-sacks of Flacco, B.J. Hill recovered and Burrow hit Chase for a 5-yard touchdown to make it 27-9.
SHOUT IT OUT
CBS cameras caught Jets defensive lineman Quinnen Williams and defensive line coach Aaron Whitecotton shouting at each other on the sideline at the start of the second quarter. The two were face to face for a moment before players quickly separated the two.
The Jets inducted two-time All-Pro center Nick Mangold into their Ring of Honor during a halftime ceremony. The seven-time Pro Bowl selection, who spent all 11 of his NFL seasons with New York, closed his induction speech by cracking open a beer and toasting the fans.
Bengals: DT DJ Reader was ruled out late in the first half with a left knee injury.
Jets: LB Quincy Williams was carted off the field with a left ankle injury late in the third quarter. … LT George Fant was replaced by Conor McDermott in the third quarter with a knee injury.
Bengals: Have a short turnaround and host the Miami Dolphins on Thursday night.
Jets: Complete their four-game swing through the AFC North to start the season by traveling to Pittsburgh to face the Steelers next Sunday.