Go figure. Maybe Halloween had something to do with it.
Only a true Jets’ fan would have thought their team could be close or even think about the possibility of beating 5-2 Cincinnati at MetLife Stadium.
They did, and in a way no one would have thought either. This was a hard-fought effort that has to stay with them.
The Jets may have just established their identity in their 34-31 win over the Bengals. Or at least they found some solid footing.
They also found some more pieces to build on their foundation for the future. Yet, their current foundation is still a shaky one.
A victory over the AFC’s top seed is certainly encouraging, but everything has to be put in its proper perspective.
Yes, the Jets are a young team with plenty of improvements needed. But they can still cherish this victory, one can definitely be a springboard.
More importantly, this is a testament to GM Joe Douglas, who brought aboard quarterback three-year vet Mike White and rookie running back Michael Carter. The duo established themselves Sunday afternoon, and there have been some others who should be wearing Green and White for a while.
In his post-game presser, head coach Robert Saleh stressed the importance of keeping “youth” front and center in the big picture. He has seen its negatives and positives effects from their previous six games of a roller-coaster season.
We will all remember where we were during the “Mike White game.” I have to admit that I was wrong thinking the Jets should sign a veteran quarterback in training camp, and not hand that job to White.
Head coach Robert Saleh and his staff insisted White was the real thing all along, but one one really bought into it. We all just kept our fingers crossed Zach Wilson didn’t get hurt.
White may have had the game of his career with his 37 of 45, 405-yard, four touchdown performance. This was a person who discovered what waiver wires and practice squads were all about over the last three years.
Carter has been the bright spot in an adequate running game at best, and showed he can be a workhorse back with 15 carries for 77 yards and also nine receptions for 95 yards.
Douglas drafted Carter in April figuring he could eventually develop into the Jets’ lead back. He already has.
The Jets have a quick turnaround against Indianapolis, and the team easily could come back down to earth, looking more like the team that gave up more than 500 yards and looked listless against New England two weeks ago.
We’ll have a better idea of what White can be Thursday night, as well as this team that now has to maintain their water mark. He can be a viable option or possibly a valuable trade chip down the line.
However, one thing is for certain… Douglas has found two valuable pieces for the future.