The New York Jets enjoyed a spectacular surprising win over the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 8.
Everyone counted the green and white out. They were coming off of an embarrassing loss to the New England Patriots the week prior and the Bengals were rolling in with the best record in the AFC.
Sprinkle in the slew of key injuries on both sides of the ball for the Jets (Carl Lawson, Mekhi Becton, Corey Davis, and Zach Wilson), and the thought of a potential upset was nearly impossible.
Yet despite those odds, the green and white got the job done with an unbelievable 34-31 victory for the ages.
ALL the latest Jets news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Jets newsletter here!
The Mike White Era
The main reason no one thought the Jets could beat the Bengals is that their star-studded rookie, Wilson, was out and some no named journeyman was making his first career NFL start.
Well, Mike White will no longer be forgotten after his historic performance:
- Completed 37-of-45 passes (82 percent completion percentage)
- 405 passing yards
- Three touchdown passes
- Averaged over nine yards per attempt
- 107.9 quarterback rating
White was simply supposed to be nothing more than a temporary fill-in. Earlier in the week, the Jets executed a trade for veteran quarterback Joe Flacco. When he learned the nuances of the system the expectation was he would take the starting gig.
Although after White’s performance vs the Bengals, this is his starting job to lose, perhaps even when Wilson returns from his PCL strain.
A Potential QB Controversy Is Brewing
After the game Jets head coach Robert Saleh was asked whether White could be the long-term answer at quarterback, “we’ll go day-to-day, but anything is possible, right? It goes back to that whole theory that the difference between player A and player Z is an opportunity and reps. That’s what this league is and that’s professional sports. That is why players come out of nowhere they get an opportunity. What Mike does with his opportunity is he has the world in front of him he has to take advantage.”
This was an absolutely stunning comment from the head honcho of the Jets. What many of us expected him to say when he was asked this is to simply respond with, Zach Wilson is my guy, he was the No. 2 overall pick in the draft for a reason, when he is healthy and returns he’ll be the starter.
Yet he didn’t say any of that and that has created a lot of buzz on social media that a quarterback controversy could be afoot if White continues his stellar play.
There have been a lot of years where the Jets haven’t had one good quarterback, let alone two, so this is a first-world problem no Jets fan expected to deal with.
There is a thought to simply ride the hot hand, it happens at nearly every other position in football, so why not at quarterback?
The caveat to all of this is if, a big if, White can continue this level of play he suddenly turns a very easy decision into a very difficult one. If White is playing like a star and the Jets are winning, would Saleh stop all that to put Wilson back in? It doesn’t sound like it based on his postgame comments.
Suddenly things have gotten increasingly spicy on 1 Jets Drive in a way none of us saw coming.
Follow @BoyGreen25 & @obermuller_nyj on Twitter for all the latest New York Jets breaking news, rumors, fresh takes, and more!
READ NEXT: Insider: Jets ‘Aren’t Happy’ With Mekhi Becton Over Maturity, Laziness Issues