New York Jets wide receiver Plaxico Burress caught three passes for 66 yards, including an over-the-shoulder 26-yarder for a touchdown, in his first game in nearly three years to help the New York Jets beat the Cincinnati Bengals 27-7 in a preseason game Sunday night.
Burress, signed last month after serving 20 months in prison on a gun charge, made his debut with the Jets (1-1) a memorable one. He caught a 20-yard pass from Mark Sanchez on the Jets’ first offensive play and another 20-yard grab in the second quarter, but the highlight came on New York’s last offensive play of the first half.
Burress took off down the left sideline, drew separation from defensive back Fred Bennett and hauled in a pass from Sanchez and fell into the end zone to put New York up 17-7.
Sanchez finished 12 of 20 for 173 yards and two touchdowns, the first to Santonio Holmes as the Jets’ starting offense played the entire first half.
The running game, without starter Shonn Greene, stalled during the first two quarters, gaining just 17 yards, as a driving rain fell at the New Meadowlands Stadium. LaDainian Tomlinson had just 16 yards on nine carries.
Cincinnati’s offense struggled badly early as rookie Andy Dalton, the second-round pick out of TCU, threw two interceptions that resulted in scores by New York.
Dalton was 4 of 11 for 29 yards after one quarter, and finished 8 of 19 for 86 yards.
It was an encouraging night for Burress, although it was against the Bengals, who have the look of a team that will be drafting in the top five in 2012. He doesn't have much in the way of upside.