The Jets responded to last week’s butt whooping with a shocking, 34-31, upset win over the red-hot Cincinnati Bengals.
And the game ball should go to Gang Green’s backup QB White Mike, who balled out of his mind. White threw for 405 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions and finished with a passer rating of 108.
The play of the game that especially sent MetLife Stadium into a frenzy was after White delivered his third touchdown pass to Tyler Kroft to put the Jets up 32-31. Then Jets offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur called the Philly special on the two point conversion, with Jamison Crowder throwing it to White to give the Jets their three point lead with less than four minutes remaining in the game.
The defense forced the Bengals to punt on the next drive and the Jets never gave the ball back.
The offense cooked all game, finishing with a season-high 513 yards. This was without Zach Wilson and their best receiver Corey Davis. They could have decided to take their ball and go home.
But the unit clearly decided enough was enough. They were tired of being a laughing stock that averaged 13 points per game and had zero points in the first quarter.
White’s performance may not have been as electric as Wilson’s comeback victory over the Titans in Week 4, but the former Western Kentucky star played the best game from a Jets quarterback all season.
White delivered darts when he needed to, like his touchdown throw to Braxton Berrios before the half. And White checked it down to Michael Carter and Ty Johnson when it was required.
White’s efficiency allowed the Jets offense to stay on the field as they possessed the ball for a total 36 minutes and 20 seconds and snapped their first quarter scoreless streak that lasted the first six games — courtesy of LaFleur, who called creative plays the players were finally able to execute.
Their first drive lasted 10 plays and was capped with an eight-yard touchdown run by Michael Carter, plus a field goal. In that series, White was efficient and ran the offense well and stuck to the script. He didn’t try to do too much, but trusted his reads and was decisive with his throws.
White was 7-of-7 for 64 yards on the opening drive and gave the Jets a 7-0 lead.
The defense also started their game hot, quickly ridding the bad taste in their mouths from the 54-13 thrashing against the Patriots. They showed pride and fought early by forcing a three-and-out on the Bengals’ first drive of the game.
On the Jets’ next possession, White zipped a fastball over the middle to Crowder on a slant route, but it bounced off his hands and was intercepted by Bengals safety Jessie Bates. Bates returned it for 65 yards to the Jets 1-yard line. But the Jets’ defense prevented the error from becoming too costly.
The defense forced the Bengals into a third-and-three after the Jets, led by Folorunso Fatukasi, who helped stuff Joe Mixon for back-to-back negative runs. The Bengals’ possession ended after QB Joe Burrow dropped back and scanned the field on 4th & Goal, but Quinnen Williams slung Burrow to ground, forcing a turnover on downs.
It wasn’t all pretty. Burrow finished with 259 yards and three touchdowns and the Bengals did score 31 points.
But the unit gave the offense, which was playing without its starting quarterback, a chance.
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