E. RUTHERFORD, N.J. _ The Bengals got that quick start Sunday here at MetLife Stadium when they scored on two Joe Burrow third-down touchdown passes in the first quarter.
But it was the last drive of the game they wanted to talk about as they savored their first win of the year, what wide receiver Tyler Boyd called "a must-have," 27-12 win over the Jets with the unbeaten Dolphins looming at Paycor Stadium Thursday night.
It was a 12-play smash job from the Bengals 25 to the Jets 23 that started with 10:03 left in the game and ended on Evan McPherson's first career road field goal miss with 2:15 left and in between there were 10 runs, eight by backup Samaje Perine who did it all Sunday.
"That last drive was the epitome of what we want to be for the rest of the year," said Burrow after throwing for three touchdowns and 275 yards. "Everyone knew what we were doing. We had our 13 personnel (three tight ends) out there running outside zone every play. The offensive line did a great job."
Burrow went to midfield with center Ted Karras for the coin toss on a day that was going to belong to the offense no matter what.
"It was a classic Joey B game. Throwing deep shots," Karras said. "We're earning his trust now … (Last drive) that's hard to do in pro football. Big boy football and what we're striving to be. The first step of kind of what we need to be. Early leads and then pound on teams to win the game."
After not scoring a touchdown in the first half this season until Sunday and hitting their season-high of 20 points with 5:25 left in the first half, Burrow likes the formula.
"Coming out fast. Putting points on the boards," Burrow said. "You're not in two-minute the whole game. That puts the offensive linemen in better position. It's easier to call plays. That was pretty cool."
_Burrow gave a shout out to right tackle La'el Collins, who went all the way Sunday after not practicing all week with back soreness.
"He pushed through it," Burrows said. "That's the kind of guy he is. Tough. He's getting better and better for us," Burrow said.
Collins was beaming and it just wasn't because "I'm enjoying my first win with the Bengals." He was also thinking of the last drive.
"An offensive lineman's dream," Collins said.
_Middle linebacker Logan Wilson, who, like nose tackle D.J. Reader, should be getting Pro Bowl votes, pulled down a really unique pick in the first half. Head coach Zac Taylor called it like a safety or a wide receiver as he dropped about 20 yards in a zone and jumped to take it away from wide receiver Braxton Berrios.
Wilson had an idea edge Trey Hendrickson was going to come up with that monster game of 2.5 sacks and two forced fumbles. Hendrickson, who set the Bengals sack record last season with 14, didn't have a sack in the first two games and it was the first time since 2019 he didn't have a sack in back-to-back games.
"I told him, it's just a matter of time before it happens," Wilson said. "And I knew it was going to happen this week just by the way he was around practice. The way he was focused. He was getting himself mentally and physically ready to go and it showed today. When you know people, you can understand when they're really locked in. He understands he didn't play up to his level of expectations the first two games and so he was just hungry to get after it and he obviously did that today."
_Head coach Zac Taylor is crossing his fingers on Reader. He limped off the field with a knee injury in the first half and isn't sure what tests will show.
_Taylor said running back Joe Mixon had a sore ankle, so they held him out when that last drive was rolling. Perine, who caught the first touchdown on a scramble, finished with 47 yards on nine carries while Mixon went for 24 on 12 carries.
_Who has more quiet 100-yard games than Boyd? He had the 11th of his career Sunday with five catches for 105.
_Remember how the Bengals had 15 missed tackles against the Jets in last year's 34-31 Halloween loss? .On Sunday they reversed that by smothering the Jets. No touchdowns, less than four yards per carry and they gave up just 4.3 yards per play. They didn't miss many Sunday and how about linebacker Akeem Davis-Gaither getting his third NFL start and leading them with 13 tackles, tying Jets vet linebacker C.J. Mosley for game-high?
As always, slot cornerback Mike Hilton was all over the yard with eight tackles, tied with strong safety Vonn Bell for second on the team with eight.
"I just try to grab and hold on," Hilton said. "Obviously, I feel like that's one of my strengths, is my tackling ability, and I showed that today."