Bengals earn first win of season, beating Jets in Andy Dalton's return

There will not be an 0-16 team in the 2019 NFL season.

The Cincinnati Bengals, who lost their first 11 games of the season, beat the split-personality New York Jets, 22-6, on Sunday.

And yes, there were plenty of good seats to be had at Paul Brown Stadium for this banger. But the Bengals’ social-media team had some fun with the end result.

It’s the first NFL victory for Bengals head coach Zac Taylor, who made the decision to go back to QB Andy Dalton after rookie Ryan Finley struggled as a starter. Dalton broke the club’s passing-TD record in the game, passing Ken Anderson with his 17-yard strike to Tyler Boyd for Cincinnati’s first score of the game.

Andy Dalton helped the Cincinnati Bengals end their 0-11 start by beating the New York Jets. (Photo by Bryan Woolston/Getty Images)

Dalton finished the game 22-of-37 passing for 243 yards and the one TD pass. Joe Mixon also added a rushing TD for the Bengals, but it was Cincinnati’s defense that stepped up as well. The Bengals had four sacks — three by Carlos Dunlap — and earned a safety when the Jets were called for holding in the end zone midway through the third quarter.

What went wrong for the Jets

The Jets are a bizarre team. They beat the Dallas Cowboys and routed the Oakland Raiders this season, entering this game with a three-game win streak. But they dropped to 1-5 on the road in Adam Gase’s first season as head coach.

Sam Darnold completed 28 of his 48 pass attempts for 239 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions. The Jets abandoned the run game early and didn’t get much going on the ground — 44 yards on 17 carries. After two first-half field goals, the Jets punted or turned it over on downs on every possession in the second half, as well as the safety.

Perfect scenario for Cincy

For the Bengals, it’s a win-win. The victory takes heat off Taylor in a rough season and shows the players are still trying hard.

But the loss doesn’t hurt the Bengals’ chances — yet — of missing out on the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NFL draft. They’re still in the driver’s seat for that until further notice.

But for Gase and the Jets, this is a big setback after a promising recent spell.

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