EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – Mike White threw for 405 yards and three touchdowns on his first NFL start, caught a 2-point conversion pass on the go-ahead score and had his name chanted while leading the New York Jets to a crazy 34-31 comeback victory over the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday.
White, starting in place of injured rookie Zach Wilson, picked up an unlikely victory for the Jets (2-5) while scoring 37 of 45 – setting an NFL record for most goals in first start of a player. He joined Cam Newton (2011) as the only players since at least 1950 to throw for 400 yards or more on their first career start.
White overcame two early interceptions and also became the Jets’ first 400-yard passer since Vinny Testaverde had 481 on Christmas Eve 2000, a span of 327 games. And he even left for a few games with a neck injury.
As the Bengals (5-3) led 31-20 in the fourth quarter, the Jets got an acrobatic touchdown from Ty Johnson, who made a short pass from White and tiptoed down the left sideline and Crossed the goal line for a Score of 19 yards. Johnson was initially ruled out at 2, but the video review canceled the call and confirmed the touchdown.
White’s 2-point conversion pass to Keelan Cole was incomplete and New York trailed 31-26 with 4:36 remaining.
Shaq Lawson then came up with the Jets’ first interception of the season, deflecting Joe Burrow’s pass and hooking it up to give New York the ball to the Bengals 14.
After a one-yard run from Michael Carter, White found a wide-open Tyler Kroft in the back of the end zone to give New York a point lead. The Jets went for the 2-point conversion and turned to a trick with the Jets ‘twist on the Eagles’ “Philly Special”. Jamison Crowder threw him wide open in the end zone to bring the score to 34-31 with 3:45 to go.
Fans of a half-full MetLife stadium chanted aloud, “Mike! White!”
The Jets forced the Bengals to kick in the fourth and 19 points of the 40. Cincinnati never got the ball back. On third and 11th, Johnson was stopped for no gain on a take, but Mike Hilton was called out for unnecessary roughness. This gave New York the first try, and White was brought to his knees in the lineup for the win moments later.
After becoming the first team to go zero in the first period in their first six games since the 2008 Detroit Lions, the Jets scored on their first down on Carter’s 8-yard touchdown.
With offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur in the booth rather than on the sidelines, the Jets won the toss and coach Robert Saleh opted to take the ball for the first time rather than postpone.
Carter finished with nine catches for 95 yards and ran for 77 yards and one touchdown on 15 carries.
WHAT CAPTURE (ALMOST)
Cole had the most breathtaking non-catch of the season on the next Jets route. On the first and 10 of 12, White made a pass into the end zone for Cole, who reached out his right hand to catch the ball and pinched it between his legs as he fell back for what seemed like a wild touch seizure. . It was reminiscent of Odell Beckham’s now infamous one-handed grip on that same pitch while with the Giants in 2015.
But a video review turned the tide, with officials claiming Cole did not retain possession – triggering loud boos on Halloween from Jets fans.
New York returned two games later as Braxton Berrios caught a pass from White, dragged his feet into the end zone, leaving no doubt as to whether it was a catch and reduced the Jets deficit at 17-14 with 15 seconds left in the first half.
White was injured when he was slammed from behind by Cam Sample resulting in a penalty for the passer. White’s header slammed into left tackle Chuma Edoga, and the quarterback lay on his back for several minutes before leaving the jogging area for the medical tent.
Josh Johnson, who hadn’t thrown a pass in the NFL since 2018 with Washington, came in and nearly hit a touchdown. But his throw into the end zone on the third try could not be managed by Denzel Mims. Matt Amendola’s 24 yards tied for 17. White came back on the next possession.
Bengals: Rookie RG Jackson Carman was eliminated in the fourth quarter due to injury.
Jets: Lt. George Fant injured his ankle at the end of the second quarter and did not return. He was replaced by Chuma Edoga. … WR Denzel Mims started in the third quarter with a finger injury.
Bengals: Host AFC rival North Cleveland Browns next Sunday.
Jets: Hurry and face the Colts in Indianapolis Thursday night.
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