Mike White
Mike White, Getty Images

Robert Saleh knew exactly who deserved the game ball: Mike White

Following a shocking 34-31 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday, the New York Jets gathered around head coach Robert Saleh in the MetLife Stadium locker room.

It was time for the postgame speech and potential game ball decision.

“Listen, guys, y’all fought your asses off, that was awesome!” Saleh shouted to his players in a clip tweeted out by the Jets official Twitter account. “I’ve just got one freaking game ball. 405 yards passing, 3 touchdowns … ”

The rest of Saleh’s words were drowned out by the team’s cheers as quarterback Mike White came forward to graciously accept the Week 8 game ball.

White not only made New York Jets history this Halloween, but he also made NFL history.

Filling in for the injured Zach Wilson, fans, Jets players, and coaching staff alike were most likely hoping for a serviceable outing. Instead, he became only the second quarterback in league history to throw for more than 400 yards in his first career start.

Pair that with his three touchdown passes and it’s really no debate who deserved that game ball.

Interestingly, White remained humble through it all. After taking the ball from Saleh, White addressed his teammates with humility.

“I really appreciate everybody in this room for not flinching and for trusting me,” White said. “And all my teammates, we just went out there and executed. That’s all it was.”

Heading into Sunday morning, few Cincinnati Bengals fans had likely even heard of Mike White. Well, they sure know his play on the football field well at this point.

Audio Version available to members only: Learn more here

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Ian Roddy is a football writer currently working towards his masters at USC. He brings a versatile journalistic skill set to Jets X-Factor with both writing and audio. Email: roddy.ian66@gmail.com
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