The Baltimore Ravens entered their Week 8 bye behind the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC North divisional standings after falling to them at home in their most lopsided loss since Lamar Jackson became the starter. But in a shocking turn of events, the Ravens return to work back first place.
How was a team able to leapfrog the foe that just bested then without taking a single snap you might be wondering? All the credit goes to the mercurial football gods, the New York Jets, and most importantly fourth-year quarterback Mike White who was able to defy long odds and pull off a shocking upset with a decisive 34-31 victory.
The Bengals were the national media’s latest favorite flavor of the week coming off a 41-17 rout of the Ravens in Week 7 and ranked No. 1 in AFC playoff standings heading into a matchup with the lowly Jets. They were heavily favored in this game but New York succeeded where the Ravens had failed seven days prior and came away with a win.
This was White’s first game filling in for injured rookie signal-caller and 2021 second overall pick Zach Wilson. It also marked his first career start but neither perceived adversities seemed to phase him even after a pair of early interceptions put him and his team behind early.
He bounced back from the rough start by matching Joe Burrow and the red-hot Bengals offense blow for blow and overcoming a late double-digit point deficit. White finished 37-of-45 for 3 touchdowns and his 405 yards passing was the most by a Jets quarterback since Vinny Testaverde in 2000.
Many believed that if any quarterback on New York’s roster was going to come to the Ravens’ aid and upset the Bengals, it would’ve been Superbowl 47 MVP and Baltimore sports legend Joe Flacco who the team just traded for last week. Flacco was inactive but Cincinnati fell as the same and the world is back to as it should be with the Ravens back in the drivers’ seat in the division race coming off a much-needed break.
Ravens entered their bye week in second place in the AFC North. They get back to work tomorrow in first place after Bengals' loss to the Jets. Bengals host Browns next week.— Jeff Zrebiec (@jeffzrebiec) October 31, 2021
One former Raven on the Jets’ roster that played and had an impact was four-time Pro Bowl inside linebacker C.J. Mosley. He led the charge for New York’s defense and recorded a team-high 10 total tackles including 8 solos and one for a loss.
In other AFC North news, the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns faced off in a battle of the dwellers at the bottom of the division at the same time the Bengals were getting stunned by the Jets. Ben Roethlisberger and Co. were able to muster up enough offense to edge out Baker Mayfield and the banged-up Browns while their defense came up with some clutch turnovers and plays late to seal the 15-10 win.