Five Jets to watch when the Green & White play host Sunday to the Cincinnati Bengals at MetLife Stadium for the first time since opening day 2016:
QB Mike White — The ball is in White's court this week. After his first NFL appearance, pass, completion and TD pass against the Patriots, White gets his first pro start for the injured Zach Wilson vs. Cincinnati. He'll need to stay out of the clutches of D-ends Trey Hendrickson (team-leading 6.5 sacks) and Sam Hubbard (4 sacks) and watch out for ballhawking LB Logan Wilson (team highs with 58 tackles and 4 INTs). But as Wilson said about White's debut, "I thought he came in there composed and did a great job leading the offense with some really good drives. He played well." More of White being composed and playing well will be crucial to the Jets remaining competitive with the Bengals.
RB Michael Carter — Carter was White's best friend vs. the Patriots, catching all 8 of his passes on 9 targets from the backup QB for 67 yards. The Pats weren't worried in the second half about checkdown and underneath completions, but the game reps for those plays will surely help the offense going forward. Carter added 37 rush yards, enabling him to join Corey Davis as the Jets' only 100-scrimmage-yards players in a game this season. It would be timely if that signals Carter's liftoff as an offensive force and helps trigger some intermediate/deep completions to Davis, Keelan Cole, Elijah Moore and perhaps Denzel Mims.
See the Best Photos from Wednesday's Practice Leading Up to the Home Game Against the Bengals
CBs Bryce Hall and Brandon Echols — Ja'Marr Chase is on the loose. The wideout's 201 yards on 8 catches at Baltimore earned him AFC Offensive Player of the Week honors and his 21.5 yards/catch leads the NFL and, if it were to hold up for the season, would be the best average by a qualifying receiver since 2010. Chase lines up on both sides of the formation, perhaps favoring his offense's right side more, so both Jets outside starters, LCB Hall and RCB Echols, will need to be at their coverage and tackling best to prevent Chase from taking any crosses or go-routes to the house.
DL John Franklin-Myers — Joe Burrow had a 400-yard passing day Sunday. But the Bengals QB absorbed several licks from the Ravens, too, mostly from RE Justin Houston working against LT Jonah Williams. This would've been DL Carl Lawson's game to be shot out of a cannon, since he came over from the Bengals as a UFA, then suffered an Achilles injury in camp. And Bryce Huff could have been the man here but his new back injury is problematic. JFM could have a strong impact on this game if he puts some moves on RT Riley Reiff and perhaps even some rushes from the D's right side against Williams. The defense will need to hit and hurry if not sack Burrow into mistakes to stay close in this one..