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2021 NFL Power Rankings, Week 9: A Savage Victory

Syndication: The Enquirer Kareem Elgazzar / USA TODAY NETWORK

The New York Jets pulled out a shocking, come from behind victory over the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday, led by backup quarterback Mike White and his amazing 400+ yard performance. Following an embarrassing defeat at the hands of the New England Patriots the week prior, this win was a much needed tonic to the many things that have ailed the Jets this year. For at least one game, the Jets offense looked good and the Jets looked like a real NFL team. The trick now is to stack a few good performances together rather than slipping back into the mire. The Jets record under head coach Robert Saleh rose to 2-5. It’s a start. How did the power rankings feel about this win? Let’s find out.

Pro Football Network

28) New York Jets

Congratulations are in order. It makes no sense that the Jets would beat the Bengals today with Mike White at QB, but they did. White was up and down, but this team battled their tails off, which could signify that Robert Saleh’s culture is building in New York.

The offense picked up 32 first downs against the Bengals and gained 511 yards on 78 offensive plays. They controlled the game. This was not a fluke contention like the Lions have had in a few games this season. The Jets actually played better than the Bengals. Let’s hope they can continue to build the culture and the fanbase stays level-headed in its discourse regarding White and Zach Wilson.

Sports Illustrated

25. New York Jets (2–5)

Last week: Win vs. Cincinnati, 34–31

Next week: at Indianapolis (Thursday)

That was a genuinely great win for the Jets on Sunday. I think a lot of people are pulling for Robert Saleh in New York, but are still realistic about this roster, so to have wins over the Titans and Bengals (one with Mike White!) will be a nice keepsake no matter what the final record ends up being. Some teams roll over in the middle of a lost season, but it would not be surprising at all if the Jets have more wins in the second half of the season than the first.

New York Post

26. New York Jets, 2-5

With injured rookie Zach Wilson looking on, Mike White used his first career start to become the first Jets’ 400-yard passer since 2000. Suddenly, offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur — under fire over the first six games — didn’t look so overmatched. The Jets have wins over the Titans and Bengals — two of the AFC’s best.

ESPN

28. New York Jets (2-5)

Previous ranking: 30

Biggest Achilles’ heel: Quarterback inexperience

It might seem like an odd time to single this out, considering Mike White just passed for 405 yards and three touchdowns, but it doesn’t change the fact that White and Zach Wilson have only seven combined starts in their careers. The Jets have a league-high 13 interceptions, in large part because of their inexperience. There will be good days and bad days, depending on the quality of the opponent and style of defense. There’s nothing the Jets can do to change it; they just have to ride this out, hoping it pays long-term dividends.

USA Today

28. Jets (31): Count us among among those who owe QB Mike White an apology after assessing him among the league’s worst backups. The question now is: How long will he remain among the league’s starters?

For one week at least the Jets are climbing the power rankings. Can they keep it up? We’ll find out starting on Thursday.

What do you think? Where should the Jets rank in the NFL power rankings?