CINCINNATI (AP) — Geno Smith and Andy Dalton had horrid performances in their last games at Paul Brown Stadium. And neither has forgotten.
Smith threw two interceptions returned for touchdowns when the New York Jets lost to the Cincinnati Bengals 49-9 last October. It was the low point of Smith’s season, which included Jets rookie records for yards passing, completions and attempts.
Smith will start on Saturday night when the Jets (1-0) play the Bengals (0-1).
“Understanding that we didn’t play well, we didn’t fare well against those guys in their home stadium — obviously, you want to have a better showing,” Smith said. “That’s just natural.”
Same goes for Dalton, who had three turnovers in the second half of a 27-10 loss to San Diego in the opening round of the playoffs. The Bengals won all eight of their regular-season home games, only to flop at Paul Brown when it mattered most.
It’ll be Dalton’s first home game since he signed a six-year extension that recognizes him as Cincinnati’s starting quarterback for years to come. The Bengals are counting on him even though he’s 0-3 in the playoffs.
He’s watched the video of his turnover-filled performance in the playoffs several times. He’s glad to get back onto the field for his first game since that day, even though it is a preseason game before a less-than-capacity crowd.
“It’s fun to get back and play here,” Dalton said. “Obviously, it’s easier to play at home. Hopefully, the fans will get into it. It is preseason — I know how it is at other stadiums, too. But it is fun to get that first preseason home game.”
Both teams will spend a lot of time looking at their backup quarterbacks.
Michael Vick hopes to get on the field with the Jets’ starting offense. Even one series would be satisfying.
“I don’t know,” Vick said. “It’s going to be tough. This is a week where, I think, the starters are going to play a half. I know what that’s about and I know what it’s like and I know the reasoning behind that.
“So if not, then I have to go out and play with my group and go out there with confidence and try to lead them.”
Coach Marvin Lewis said Dalton will get between 15 and 25 plays, depending upon how the game goes. Then the Bengals will try to make it through the rest of the game with a depleted quarterback group.
Backup Jason Campbell threw two interceptions that were returned for touchdowns during a 41-39 loss at Kansas City in the preseason opener. He also bruised his passing elbow, sidelining him for the week. Fifth-round pick AJ McCarron has missed camp with a sore passing shoulder.
Cincinnati signed free agent Tyler Wilson — Oakland’s fourth-round pick last year — to fill in while Campbell recovers. Offensive coordinator Hue Jackson will have to scale back the offense while he’s in the game because he’s still learning it.
“At the end of the day, I would hope our offense has the flexibility to do whatever we need to do no matter how the quarterback is playing, and I think we can,” Jackson said.
The Jets will have a couple of interesting developments on defense.
Safety Antonio Allen is expected to start at cornerback, a spot that has been depleted by injuries. The Jets want to see whether that’s an option as they prepare for the season.
“We’ll find out,” defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman said. “It’s training camp, so we’re basically looking at it as an experiment.”
Safety Calvin Pryor, the Jets’ first-round pick, is expected to make his NFL debut after missing the first preseason game with a concussion.