Not to be outdone by wide receiver Marvin Jones’ historic day, the Cincinnati Bengals defense managed a milestone of its own in Sunday’s 49-9 drubbing of the New York Jets at Paul Brown Stadium.
Safety Chris Crocker and cornerback Adam Jones became the first Cincinnati teammates to return interceptions for a touchdown in the same since John Simmons and James Griffin in a 52-21 win against Buffalo on Dec. 16, 1984.
“When the offense is scoring on every possession, it’s hard for a team that’s a ball possession type of team to stay in it and keep it close,” said Crocker, who ended any hope the Jets had for a comeback when he picked off rookie quarterback Geno Smith on the first play of the third quarter and returned it 32 yards for a touchdown and a 35-6 lead.
“It was 7 on 7 at that point,” Crocker added. “The guys can really pin back their ears and go after the quarterback. Now this is pass and catch in the backyard. As a defensive back, we like games like this.”
Jones had a near interception prior to one he snagged and returned 60 yards for a score early in the fourth quarter.
“I’m just happy I’m making plays and helping the team win,” Jones said. “When we’re all clicking on the same page, we’re going to be a hard team to beat. These are the days you live for, where everybody’s playing solid football. It all works together.”
It was the second career pick six for both Jones and Crocker.
Jones’ first one came in 2006 against David Garrard. Crocker’s was in 2004 against Ben Roethlisberger.
“What a better feeling than to get into that end zone after nine years,” said Crocker, who celebrated by throwing the ball into the stands. “It was just an emotional moment. Bless the person who caught the ball. I hope it was a kid.”
Attrition, again: Tempering the enthusiasm of the Bengals big win against the New York Jets was that for the second week in a row there were an alarming number of players forced to leave the game with injuries.
Linebacker Rey Maualuga (head, knee), safety Taylor Mays (shoulder), left tackle Andrew Whitworth (knee) and wide receiver Mohamed Sanu (shoulder) all were unable to finish the game.
Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis said all will have a chance to play Thursday in Miami.
“I’ve not been told otherwise,” he said. “We were afforded the luxury of being able to pull in some other guys and not have to bring the hurt guys back out.”
Whitworth’s injury was his right knee. He had offseason surgery on his left knee.
“We’ll evaluate it (today) and see where we’re at,” Whitworth said. “Hopefully everything will be fine.”
More milestones: In addition to Marvin Jones’ franchise-record four touchdown receptions, there were a number of other stats of significance Sunday.
Andy Dalton threw a career-high five touchdown passes, threw for 300 yards in three straight games for the first time in his career, led the offense to 400 yards in three straight games for the first time. The 49 points also were the most in his three-year career.”
“We got beat in every coverage known to man,” Jets head coach Rex Ryan said. “Five touchdown passes. I don’t know how many times that’s happened in my lifetime. Not very often.”
The 49 points were the most by a Bengals team since a 58-48 victory against Cleveland on Nov. 28, 2004. And the 40-point margin of victory was the team’s largest since a 61-7 trouncing of Houston on Dec. 17, 1989.
“I feel like we’ve got so many things that we can do offensively,” Dalton said. “Even if there was a way to defend us, I wouldn’t be saying it.”