Mike White, Joe Burrow
Mike White, Joe Burrow, New York Jets, Cincinnati Bengals, Jet X Graphic, Getty Images

Mike White leads the New York Jets on Halloween

Is Mike White‘s full name Michael White? Truthfully, I’m not sure.

It stands to reason that it is. After all, how many official “Mikes” are there in this world? Then again, he could be the exception to the rule.

If so, his name doesn’t exactly match up with one of the classics of Halloween.

Michael White cannot take on the Michael Myers fear-provoking persona at MetLife Stadium in Week 8 against the Cincinnati Bengals. He can’t do it in name, that is.

But if Zach Wilson’s replacement finds a way to knock off a red-hot 5-2 Bengals team Sunday afternoon, NFL pundits will have to revisit the Halloween game as the day when stranger things happen in the league.

Jets at Bengals game info

  • New York Jets (1-5)
  • Cincinnati Bengals (5-2)
  • NFL, Week 8, Sunday, Oct. 31, 2021, 1 p.m. ET, CBS
  • MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ
New York Jets, Cincinnati Bengals, 2021, Week 8 Preview
New York Jets, Cincinnati Bengals, 2021, Week 8 Preview, Jet X Graphic, Getty Images

The 1-5 New York Jets welcome in the previously mentioned red-hot Bengals in Week 8. After knocking off the Minnesota Vikings in Week 1, they fell in a nailbiter to the Chicago Bears.

Only a crazy game against the Green Bay Packers represents the up-and-coming team’s other blemish of the season.

For the Jets, well … it’s not good, to say the least.

The Week 4 victory over the Tennessee Titans now feels like a decade ago. Since that day, New York fell to an Atlanta Falcons team in London, rested on its only bye week of the season, and found itself blown out by Bill Belichick’s New England Patriots.

Now, the team won’t have its rookie quarterback for at least the next two weeks (perhaps three or even four).

The Jets will wear their Stealth Black uniforms for the first time this year. This might be a good thing, however, as the Jets are undefeated in the black in day games, per Michael Nania.

Jets at Bengals history

  • Jets lead the Bengals all-time by a 17-10 count.

Interestingly, the Jets own a decisive advantage over the Bengals all time. Not only do the Jets hold a 17-10 all-time advantage over the Bengals, but they’ve also enjoyed playoff success (2-0).

Jets fans haven’t forgotten about the 2009 defeat they handed Cincinnati in the wild card round—just a week after the team closed out Giants Stadium in grand fashion.

Back in 1982, the Jets thumped the Bengals in the wild card round, 44-17, to advance to the divisional round. Of course, a man named A.J. Duhe got in the way of a Super Bowl appearance later in that strike-shortened season.

Recent history has gone the other way, however. Cincy has taken the last three meetings including a 22-6 victory in December of 2019. The Bengals 2013 win stopped a Jets streak of four straight and nine of the previous 10.

Jets at Bengals odds (FanDuel Sportsbook)

  • Spread: Jets +11.5 (-114), Bengals -11.5 (-106)
  • Moneyline: Jets +360, Bengals -510
  • Over/Under: 42.5 (O: -106, U: -114)

Until further notice, the Jets will have to prove it before anybody could think about picking them. The 11.5 underdog number at home is as bad as it gets.

Jets at Bengals injury report

NYJ-CIN, 2021, Week 8 Injury Report, Final
NYJ-CIN, 2021, Week 8 Injury Report, Final, New York Jets Communications

New York Jets

  • Tevin Coleman (Hamstring): Out
  • Bryce Huff (Back): Out
  • Trevon Wesco (Knee): Out
  • Zach Wilson (Knee): Out
  • Corey Davis (Hip): Doubtful
  • Ashtyn Davis (Shoulder): Questionable
  • Tyler Kroft (Back): Questionable
  • Shaq Lawson (Wrist): Questionable
  • C.J. Mosley (Hamstring): Questionable

Obviously, Zach Wilson will miss his first game in the NFL. Tevin Coleman and Bryce Huff will also miss the contest, which is huge.

Trevon Welsco’s absence will also be felt. How often Mike LaFleur uses 21 personnel without Wesco remains to be seen.

The good news is that C.J. Mosley looks good to return after missing the Patriots game. He’ll start alongside Jarrad Davis, who’ll dress in his first game as a Jet, as he returns from the injured list.

Having the linebackers back couldn’t come soon enough, as the youngsters didn’t give Jeff Ulbrich’s unit a chance in Foxborough a week ago.

Cincinnati Bengals

  • Chris Evans (Hamstring): Out
  • Auden Tate (Thigh): Questionable

The Bengals enter the game relatively healthy. Running back Chris Evans will miss the game due to a hamstring, while wide receiver Auden Tate is questionable with a thigh.

New York Jets’ keys to victory

Score first

It’s that simple. Score first.

The Jets’ rushing attack and game plan have turned defunct often this season purely due to horrid starts. They have yet to score in the first quarter—something that should be of the utmost priority heading into this Halloween matchup.

Stop the run

Hey, there’s no mystery here: The Jets have to do a better job at stopping the run.

Sure, New York’s defense hasn’t been at full strength all year—and this was especially the case in New England, with Jamien Sherwood and Jarrad Davis starting at linebacker—but an attention run defense has to be priority No. 1.

Ulbrich’s unit currently ranks 25th in the league against the run (127.5 yards per game). It’s a departure from Gregg Williams’s maniacal focus on stopping the run—to the point it actually hurt the pass defense at times.

Joe Mixon’s 4.4 yards per carry leads the Bengals’ 18th-ranked rush offense. Although Cincy’s offense goes through Joe Burrow and rookie sensation Ja’Marr Chase, New York must first stop the run in order to have even a chance to make the Bengals one-dimensional.

Making sure the single-high safety shades Chase’s way (with a savvy bracket or two) would also be a good idea at times.

Jets at Bengals prediction

  • New York Jets 19, Cincinnati Bengals 27

Are you shocked to see a one-possession final score? Yeah, you should be.

I actually think Mike White will have a decent outing on Halloween. He’s much more talented than people give him credit for; it’s just that he needs the experience. Expect around 200 yards and a couple of touchdowns to one or two picks.

In the end, however, Joe Burrow will be just too much. The Jets rush defense has yet to adjust from the 3-4 look a year ago to Robert Saleh’s aggressively-gap-plugging 4-3 scheme. C.J. Mosley and Jarrad Davis will help big time, but a costly turnover or two will prove to be the difference.

The New York Jets keep it relatively close but fall in the end.

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Robby Sabo is a co-founder, CEO and credentialed New York Jets content creator for Jets X-Factor - Jet X, which includes Sabo's Sessions (in-depth film breakdowns) and Sabo with the Jets. Host: Sabo Radio. Member: Pro Football Writers of America. Host: Underdog Jets Podcast with Wayne Chrebet. Coach: Port Jervis (NY) High School. Washed up strong safety and 400M runner. SEO: XL Media. Founder/Consultant: Elite Sports NY - ESNY. Email: robby.sabo@jetsxfactor.com

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DapperJet
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DapperJet

I actually think that the Jets could make this a tough match for the Bengals. Our defense is setup to not allow the big plays, which hopefully eliminates Chase from making any big plays. Stopping Mixon hopefully will be easier as long as the secondary got the receivers on lock. It’s all on the offense to score. Simple lol! Let’s GO!