(Sunday, January 3rd)
Final Score: NY Jets 37, Cincinnati 0
East Rutherford, NJ (Sports Network) - Brad Smith ran for 92 yards and a score on only four carries, and the New York Jets crushed the Cincinnati Bengals, 37-0, in the final regular season game at Giants Stadium to clinch the final playoff spot.
Thomas Jones and Jerricho Cotchery each added two and one rushing scores, respectively, for the Jets (9-7), who won five of their last six games to earn the AFC's fifth seed and a trip to Cincinnati to take on these same Bengals at 4:30 p.m. (et) on Saturday in the wild card round.
Mark Sanchez threw for only 63 yards on 8-of-16 passing, but it was the New York defense that sent the Giants Stadium faithful out with a win, holding the Bengals to just 72 total yards -- seven in the first half.
"We're excited, we're happy with this win, getting in the playoffs," said New York head coach Rex Ryan. "We're definitely not satified. This is just a start. We got to take this show on the road, and we got to get this done without our fans. It's a huge challenge."
Giants Stadium, which has housed the New York Giants since 1976 and the Jets since 1984, will be demolished to make room for Meadowlands Stadium, which will open next season as the new home for both teams. Unless the Jets face the sixth-seeded Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Championship, Sunday's win was the final professional football game at the venue.
Cincinnati (10-6) couldn't get much going with most of its starters in the first half, then the reserves didn't do much better in the second. J.T. O'Sullivan passed for just 31 yards on 3-of-8 passing after relieving Carson Palmer, who completed just 1-of-11 passes for zero yards and an interception.
"I don't want to lose a football game, and how we lost -- I don't think it really matters," said Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis. "We didn't want to lose the football game, and we had something to play for tonight, and we didn't get it done."
With Cedric Benson inactive, former Chief Larry Johnson led the team in rushing with 38 yards on nine carries. The Bengals could have claimed the third seed with a win, but the loss simply drops them to the fourth seed as the AFC North champs.
The Jets completely dominated the first half, holding the Bengals to seven total yards while putting 27 points on the board.
New York took its opening drive 72 yards in seven plays, and Jones burst through the line and into the end zone from one yard out to put the home team ahead early.
Following the first of many three-and-outs for Cincy in the first half, the Jets went on a 21-play, 74-yard drive that ended with a Jay Feely 20-yard field goal early in the second quarter for a 10-0 edge. The march took over 11 minutes off the clock.
The Bengals got their only first down of the half via a defensive illegal contact penalty but still had to punt, and Smith subbed in at quarterback and went 32 yards on a designed rush for another touchdown and 17-0 lead with 6 1/2 minutes left.
Cotchery ran for a six-yard score on the Jets' next series, and Feely hit a 39-yard field goal as time expired in the first half for a dominating 27-0 advantage.
The third quarter was low-scoring, as Cincinnati's reserves entered the game. New York added the only points of the period -- a 40-yard field goal from Feely -- to take a 30-point lead into the fourth.
Jones capped the scoring with a two-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter, as the teams ran mostly running plays to wind down the clock.
Cincinnati wide receiver Chad Ochocinco slipped and appeared to injure himself during pre-game warmups, but he played briefly and isn't expected to miss next week's game. He didn't have a reception, ending his streak of 120 consecutive games with at least one catch...Jones finished with 78 yards rushing and set a single-season franchise record with 14 rushing touchdowns for the Jets. He finished the 2009 campaign with a career-high 1,402 yards...Shonn Greene ran for 62 yards on 13 carries for New York...Cincinnati finished the season with a 4-4 road record, while the Jets finished 4-4 at home...Ryan became the third consecutive Jets coach to reach the postseason in his first year...New York finished its tenure at Giants Stadium with a 103-104-1 regular season record and a 3-1 playoff record...The Bengals are now 0-11 all time at Giants Stadium...Cincinnati defensive tackle Pat Sims fractured his right forearm, a season-ending injury.
01/04 00:38:41 ET
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