5 takeaways from the Jets’ thrilling Week 8 win over the Bengals

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Not many people gave the Jets a chance to give the Bengals a run for their money after New York’s 41-point loss to the Patriots last weekend — and understandably so.

Instead of rolling over and giving in after the embarrassment suffered in Foxborough with a surging Cincinnati team in town, the Jets bounced back and fought in Week 8. Mike White set the tone early by leading New York to its first first-quarter touchdown of the season and made countless clutch throws late in the game to get the Jets back in the win column with a thrilling 34-31 triumph.

It looked like Gang Green was going to fall short when it went down 31-20 on a Joe Burrow touchdown pass to Tyler Boyd with 7:29 remaining. White hit Ty Johnson for a score with 4:36 left to keep New York alive, though, and then Shaq Lawson delivered with an interception to give the Jets the ball deep in Bengals territory.

White took advantage, hitting ex-Bengal Tyler Kroft on a go-ahead, 13-yard touchdown pass. White then caught a two-point conversion from Jamison Crowder on Mike LaFleur’s version of the “Philly Special.” New York’s defense stood tall over the final 3:45 and White sealed the game with a quarterback sneak on 3rd-and-1 south of the two-minute warning.

Give the Jets credit for even coming to play in Week 8, let alone winning. Recent versions of Gang Green would have rolled over after the loss it suffered to the Patriots.

Here are some other takeaways from New York’s thrilling second win of the season.

Mike White looks right

Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Nobody had Mike White leading the Jets to a touchdown on his first drive and completing his first 11 passes after looking out of sorts in relief of Zach Wilson against the Patriots. White was not automatic after the first quarter, but he made more than enough throws to get the Jets back into the win column. He finished as the team’s first 400-yard passer since Vinny Testaverde in 2000.

Mike LaFleur’s conservative game plan played to White’s strengths and the 26-year-old didn’t have much of an issue completing short and intermediate passes. He earned himself another start on a short week against the Colts.

C.J. Mosley is the straw that stirs the drink on defense

AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

It’s not a coincidence that the Jets’ defense bounced back in Mosley’s return to the field. New York missed its veteran inside linebacker dearly against the Patriots and his importance was on full display against the Bengals. Mosley finished with 10 tackles, one tackle for loss and saved a touchdown in the second quarter.

Mike LaFleur's move to the booth should be permanent

AP Photo/Matt Ludtke

LaFleur’s move from the sideline to the booth led to his best-called game of the season. New York’s offense looked like a completely new unit due in large part to LaFleur’s creativity and a game plan centered around White’s strengths. The Jets need their offense to put together a complete game, but it looked like LaFleur finally got into a rhythm calling plays from above. He should remain in the booth for the foreseeable future.

It's Michael Carter's backfield

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It’s pretty clear who the Jets’ No. 1 running back is right now. Carter out-snapped and out-touched Ty Johnson by a wide margin and showcased his dual-threat ability, leading New York in rushing and receiving. Johnson has his role in the running back rotation — he caught a clutch touchdown in the fourth quarter — but it’s nearly impossible for LaFleur to take Carter off the field when he’s firing on all cylinders given what he can do as a runner and pass-catcher. He cost White an interception by not getting his head around quickly enough and dropped another pass, but Week 8 was Carter’s best showing yet.

Josh Johnson makes the most of his brief opportunity

AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

Johnson was thrust into duty midway through the third quarter after White had to leave the game with an injury following a roughing the passer penalty. Johnson played just one drive with White able to return, but the veteran made the most of his opportunity under center, getting the Jets a field goal to tie the score at 17. New York’s offense could have sunk into ineptitude in White’s brief absence, but Johnson kept it afloat at a key juncture. Credit to the 35-year-old in his Jets debut.

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