Tar Heels in NFL: Carter has monster game as Jets upset Bengals; TD for Bernard TD

By R.L. Bynum

New York area sports fans, and the NFL, are learning what Carolina fans already knew: that Michael Carter is a dynamic running back with huge star potential.

Carter helped set the tone for the New York Jets with an eight-yard touchdown run on their first drive and had the best game of his rookie season Sunday.

He accounted for a season-high 172 yards as the Jets held on for an improbable 34–31 home victory over the Cincinnati Bengals (5–3). New York (2–5) earned its second win of the season with Mike White making his first NFL start at quarterback after Zach Wilson sprained his right posterior cruciate ligament.

“I see it every day from him, so I’m not surprised by what he just did. Y’all are, but I’m not at all,” Carter said of White, a former Western Kentucky star who was 37 of 45 for 405 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions.

Carter took a pitch on the left side from White in the first quarter and ran for a touchdown with 8:38 left in the opening quarter to give the Jets a first-quarter score for the first time all season.

Carter knew that scoring early would be important.

“Yeah, it was a big deal,”  Carter said. “I feel like just the way the crowd was rocking early, we just let the momentum take us through the game with good execution. So, I think that’s the main thing that we did this week more than anything — just chill out and just execute.”

It will be a challenge to find a better all-purpose effort by a Jets running back in recent years than Carter’s show Sunday with rookie-season-highs for a single run (18 yards), a single catch (23), total yards (172), rushing yards (77 on 15 carries), reception yards (95 yards on nine catches off of 14 targets) and touches (24).

“When the ball came to me, I just tried to make the play,” Carter said. “You can’t force anything in this league or you’ll tense up. You won’t be yourself. So, for me, it was just thinking any ball can come to me. And then when they actually do, just make the play.”

Carter only collected more combined rushing and passing yards twice last season for UNC: 229 (214 rushing and 15 passing) in a 56–45 win Oct. 10 over Virginia Tech and 317 (308 rushing and 9 passing) in a 62–26 win Dec. 12 Miami. The latter was his last game as a Tar Heel.

Carter never had 95 reception yards in a game for Carolina. His best game was four catches for 55 yards in last season’s 59–54 win Nov. 14 over Wake Forest.

Last season, Carter was second in the ACC with 151.6 all-purpose yards per game. His career-high rushing game, of course, was his 308-yard game against Miami.

Carter generated three of the Jets’ top-five longest-yardage plays in the game and got 29% of the passing targets. Carter’s 24 touches came after his previous best of 19 the previous week. Before that, he never got more than 14 touches.

“I just think it came down to execution and getting to the right landmark, into the right alignments and not having to focus on where we’re at, where we’re lined up and stuff,” Carter said. “Just going and playing football at a fast speed in this league.”

His previous-best rushing game was 59 yards in Week 2 against New England and his best previous reception game was 67 yards in Week 7 against the Patriots. His best previous total yardage game was the 88 yards he collected in that Week 2 game.

Here is a highlight video from Carter’s day (official NFL videos can’t be embedded).

His 18-yard run over right tackle to start the fourth quarter beat his previous longest NFL run of 13.

On a key fourth-quarter scoring drive, Carter caught a short pass from White and turned it into a 23-yard reception (his previous high was 16) as he was determined to extend the run for more yards.

Linebacker Robert Quinn was back in Chicago’s lineup after missing last week’s game on the COVID-19 list. He had two tackles, one for a loss, and an assist in the Bears’ 33–22 home loss to San Francisco.

In Tampa Bay’s 36–27 loss at New Orleans, Giovani Bernard caught a 7-yard second-quarter touchdown pass from Tom Brady and finished with two rushes for 30 yards, with the TD play his only catch.

A 24-yard Bernard run was his longest of the season.

Even with Terron Armstead back in the New Orleans lineup after recovering from an elbow injury, James Hurst was in the Saints starting lineup for a fifth consecutive game but moved from left tackle to left guard.

Running back Javonte Williams had nine carries for 35 yards and two catches for 13 yards in Denver’s 17–10 home victory over Washington.

Linebacker Cole Holcomb had six tackles and three assists for Washington, which is off next weekend. Wide receiver Dyami Brown didn’t play because of a knee injury.

After making some big catches a week earlier, Miami wide receiver Mack Hollins had only one target and no catches in the Dolphins’ 26–11 loss at Buffalo, with one special-teams tackle.

For the Bills, Andre Smith had one special-teams assist and Mitch Trubisky didn’t play. Trubisky hasn’t played since Week 4.


Right tackle Charlie Heck started for the fourth consecutive game in Houston’s 38–22 home loss to the Los Angeles Rams.

Pittsburgh tight end Eric Ebron suffered a hamstring injury in practice Thursday and didn’t play in the Steelers 15–10 win at Cleveland.

How Tar Heels did in Week 8

Giovani Bernard, Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back
36–27 loss at New Orleans — 2 rushes, 30 yards (24 longest); 1 catch, 7 yards, 1 TD; 13 offensive snaps (21%) and 11 special-teams snaps (38%)
Season statistics — 7 games, 6 rushes, 51 yards (24 longest); 20 catches, 109 yards (5.4 average, longest 32 yards), 3 TDs, 1 fumble
Up next — Off next weekend; play at Washington, 1 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 14, CBS
Dyami Brown, Washington wide receiver
17–10 loss at Denver —
Missed game with knee injury
Season statistics — 6 games, 8 receptions on 20 targets, 81 yards (10.1 average, longest 22 yards); 1 rush for -4 yards
Up next —
Off next weekend; play vs. Tampa Bay, 1 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 14, CBS
Michael Carter, New York Jets running back
34–31 win vs. Cincinnati — Started; 15 carries, 77 yards (longest 18), 1 TD; 9 catches on 14 target for 95 yards (longest 23); 59 snaps (70%)
Season statistics — 7 games, 73 carries, 279 yards (3.5 average, longest 18 yards), 2 TDs; 26 receptions, 226 yards (7.7 average; longest 23)
Up next —
at Indianapolis, 8:20 p.m. Thursday, Fox (WRAZ in Triangle), NFL Network
Eric Ebron, Pittsburgh Steelers tight end
15–10 win at Cleveland —
Missed game with a hamstring injury suffered in practice Thursday
Season statistics — 7 games, 7 reception, 47 yards (6.7 average, longest 19); 1 rush, 1 yard, 1 TDUp next — vs. Chicago, 8:15 p.m. Monday, ESPN
Charlie Heck, Houston Texans right tackle
38–22 loss vs. Los Angeles Rams —
Started; played all 61 offensive snaps and 3 special-teams snaps (9%)
Season statistics — 6 games, 4 starts; 253 offensive snaps, 13 special-teams snaps
Up next —
at Miami, 1 p.m. Sunday, Fox
Cole Holcomb, Washington outside linebacker
17–10 loss at Denver —
Started; 6 tackles, 3 assists; played all 53 defensive snaps
Season statistics — 8 games, 47 tackles, 26 assists, 2 tackles for losses, 1 sack, 2 forced fumbles, 1 interception
Up next —
Off next weekend; play vs. Tampa Bay, 1 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 14, CBS
Mack Hollins, Miami Dolphins wide receiver
26–11 loss at Buffalo —
0 catches on 1 target; 1 special-teams tackle; 4 offensive snaps (6%) and 16 special-teams snaps (67%)
Season statistics — 8 games, 7 catches, 84 yards, 1 TD; 4 special-teams tackles; 1 tackle
Up next —
vs. Houston, 1 p.m. Sunday, Fox
James Hurst, New Orleans Saints offensive lineman
36–27 win vs. Tampa Bay
Started at left guard; played all 76 offensive snaps and 7 special-teams snaps (24%)
Season statistics — 6 games; 4 starts; 224 offensive snaps, 28 special-teams snaps
Up next —
vs. Atlanta, 1 p.m. Sunday, Fox
Robert Quinn, Chicago Bears outside linebacker
33–22 loss vs. San Francisco — Started; 2 tackles, 1 assist, 1 tackle for a loss; 52 defensive snaps (93%)
Season statistics — 7 games, 17 tackles, 5 assists, 6 sacks, 5 tackles for losses, 3 QB hits, 1 forced fumble
Up next —
at Pittsburgh, 8:15 p.m. Monday, ESPN
Andre Smith, Buffalo Bills weakside linebacker
26–11 win vs. Miami — 1 special-teams assist; 16 special-teams snaps (67%)
Season statistics — 5 games, 2 special-teams tackles, 2 special-teams assist
Up next —
at Jacksonville, 1 p.m. Sunday, CBS
Chazz Surratt, Minnesota Vikings weakside linebacker
20–16 loss vs. Dallas —
Wasn’t active for the game
Season statistics —
4 games, no statistics
Up next — at Baltimore, 1 p.m. Sunday, Fox
Mitchell Trubisky, Buffalo Bills quarterback
26–11 win vs. Miami — Didn’t play; hasn’t played since Week 4
Season statistics — 2 games; 2 of 2 passing for 9 yards (longest 8); 10 rushes for 27 yards (longest 22), 85.4 passer rating
Up next — at Jacksonville, 1 p.m. Sunday, CBS
Javonte Williams, Denver Broncos running back
17–10 win vs. Washington —
9 carries, 35 yards; 2 catches on 4 targets, 13 yards; 23 offensive snaps (43%)
Season statistics — 8 games, 78 carries, 355 yards (4.6 average; longest 49 yards), 1 TD; 22 catches, 135 yards (6.1 average, longest 17 yards)
Up next — at Dallas, 1 p.m. Sunday, Fox
On injured reserve
M.J. Stewart, Cleveland Browns safety (hamstring injury; eligible to return Week 9)
On practice squads
Jake Bargas, Minnesota Vikings fullback
Myles Dorn, Minnesota Vikings safety (played 10 special-teams snaps on Week 2)
Dazz Newsome, Chicago Bears wide receiver
Antonio Williams, Buffalo Bills running back
Injured and out for the season
Jalen Dalton, New Orleans Saints defensive tackle, suffered a triceps injury
Ryan Switzer, Cleveland Browns wide receiver, had ankle surgery Aug. 20

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