Jets’ Mike White dazzles in win over Bears

New York Jets quarterback Mike White started in place of an ineffective Zach Wilson against the Bears on Sunday, and maybe, just maybe, the Jets may have found their starting quarterback for the rest of the season and beyond.

White, who battled the rain, was 22/28 for 315 yards and three touchdowns as the Jets routed the Bears 31-10 at MetLife Stadium. White led the Jets on an opening drive touchdown for the first time this season when he connected with Garrett Wilson on an eight-yard touchdown pass. In fact, White finished the first half with 235 yards and two touchdowns. The 235 yards in the first half is the most by a Jets quarterback since 2006.

“He did a great job,” Jets head coach Robert Saleh said after the win. “He didn’t need to be anybody but Mike White. We didn’t need to turn into ‘The Greatest Show on Turf.’ We just wanted him to play within himself and play efficient. I thought he did that.”

White hit ten different receivers on Sunday, including Jets rookie wide receiver Garrett Wilson, who had five catches for 95 yards and two touchdowns. Wilson had high praise for White.

“He comes in and prepares, goes about his business the right way and goes about his preparation the right way, and you do things like that consistently, you’re going to get it back on the back end,” Wilson said. “I think we saw that today. That’s a really good talent, really good mindset, and when you have things like that, that’s what comes up.”

In three starts, Flacco threw five touchdowns, Wilson had four touchdowns in seven starts, and White came close to that number on Sunday. 

“It’s awesome, just going out there and playing football with your friends and guys you’ve been with for a couple years now,” White said about getting the start. “When it wasn’t my time to play, obviously, I’m super supportive of them, and I’m having fun with them, too, but just to be out there and be a part of it and help the team win is always fun.”

Jets fans have been waiting for this type of quarterback play all season long and, at one point, were chanting White’s name.

“It’s always cool,” White said about the chants. “I’m not going to sit here and give you some quarterback cliché that I’m not focusing on that, which, there are times I’m not. But towards the end of the game, I think it would be a lot cooler if they didn’t do it while we were trying to snap the ball, but no, I’m not going to complain too much about that.”

Last season, White started four games for the Jets, and there were some highs, which included throwing for 405 yards against the Bengals, and some lows, which included a four-interception game against the Bills, but according to White, those lows have helped him.

“Yeah, I think going out there, you have the experience to draw on from last year,” he said. “but every game is its own game, and you’ve got to play to such, but having the experience of being out there and having the highs, having the lows as well, you can’t just learn from the highs, you’ve got to learn from the lows, and drawing upon that and using that to help you however you can.”

Following this performance, the 27-year-old quarterback has earned another start and should be the starter the rest of the way. After his play on Sunday, you wonder why he was not the guy earlier in the season when Wilson was injured. White, who was impressive in the preseason, picked up where he left off in the preseason, and the Jets hope it continues.

Jets’ Wilson: ‘It was a frustrating day’

For 59-plus minutes, the New York Jets(6-4) kept the New England Patriots(6-4) out of the end zone, but they could not keep them out of the end zone for the entire 60 minutes as the Patriots’ Marcus Jones returned a punt 84 yards with five seconds left to give New England a 10-3 win over the Jets at Gillette Stadium.

Jones’ touchdown was the first punt return for a touchdown this season.

“Yeah, it’s a crappy way to lose,” Jets head coach Robert Saleh said. “You feel like you’re exchanging blows from a defensive standpoint from both teams, and somebody could just make a play and get it to overtime. They made a play, and we didn’t.”

Jets corner D.j. Reed added: “I’m still in disbelief. Marcus Jones, I know him from college; he went to Houston. Hell of a punt returner, and they gave him a chance. He is a great punt returner, and he got his touchdown. Credit to them for doing that. I’m in disbelief; it’s a tough loss.”

The Jets held the Patriots’ offense to three points and sacked Mac Jones six times. However, New York’s offense was nonexistent, especially in the second half, as they had only two yards of total offense. New York finished the game with 103 total yards. Zach Wilson completed 9 of 22 passes for 77 yards, and New York, in that dreaded second half, had -21 passing yards.

Jets head coach Robert Saleh had a few choice words to describe the team’s offensive performance in the second half:

“It was dog sh*t,” he said.

Like many on the team, Wilson was disappointed by the team’s performance on offense.

“Yeah, it’s super frustrating,” Wilson said. “It was a frustrating day, of course. I feel like I had some balls that got away from me. But we got to find ways on offense. We got to do some digging, watch the film, and see what we can do better.”

Jets rookie wideout Garrett Wilson, who had two catches for 12, did not mince words when talking about the offense.

This s–t’s sorry,” Wilson told reporters. “We’re out here looking sorry, man. We know that we’re not sorry. So that’s why it really hurts. We know that we’re better than that. We can do more.”

Despite the poor effort, Saleh said he had no intentions of bringing in backup quarterback Mike White and is still sticking with Wilson.

 “I’ve told you guys before, Zach’s our quarterback, and we’re going to, we’ve got to find ways to help him get better,” Saleh said.

The Jets have not beaten the Patriots since 2010, and this game had playoff implications as New York was swept by the Pats this season. Fortunately for the Jets, seven games are still left, but Wilson and the offense have to be better.

Jets’ Saleh: ‘I’m just proud of the guys because we didn’t quit’

The New York Jets(1-1) got an improbable win in Cleveland(1-1) against the Browns on Sunday. Down 30-17 with just under two minutes left in the game, the jets fought back.

First, it started with a busted coverage from the Browns as Joe Flacco connected with Corey Davis on a 66-yard touchdown. Then, Justin Hardee recovered Braden Mann’s onside kick. From there, they would go 53 yards in nine plays, which ended with a 15-yard Garrett Wilson touchdown reception from Flacco.

Finally, the Jets sealed the victory when Ashtyn Davis intercepted Jacoby Brissett’s pass on the Bronws’ final drive.

“For sure. I do not know where it ranks, but it is up there,” said Flacco about whether this was the craziest ending to a game in his career. “Look, at one point, you’re sitting on the bench, and they have the opportunity to run the clock out. Obviously, when he scores, you are thinking, okay, that is not what he is supposed to do. But I am sure they were still thinking, ‘okay, it is 30-17.’ That play to CD (Jets WR Corey Davis) obviously quieted the crowd a little bit. You have to give credit to the guys on the sideline, the guys that were in this game.”

Jets coach Robert Saleh was happy with the way his guys fought and glad to get a win.

“You can hear it. We’re off the snide. I love the way this feels,” he said. “[We have to] find a way to stack them up. There is a lot of stuff that we have to clean up, but I’m just proud of the guys because we didn’t quit. That’s probably the biggest thing that I’ll take away from it.”

The comeback would not have been possible if Browns running back Nick Chubb had just gone to the ground instead of scoring what appeared to be the game-clinching touchdown. Additionally, Browns kicker Cade York would miss the extra point. 

“Yeah, you know what, that’s going to be one that shows up on Friday for us as teachable moments,” said Saleh about Chubb’s touchdown. “I’m sure (Browns Head Coach Kevin) Coach Stefanski is very, very detailed. I’m sure that’s in their vocabulary, and I’m sure it’s just one of those moments. They scored, and the echo on the headset was that they gave us a chance; let’s see what happens.”

Wilson added: “As soon as Chubb scored. Coach said, ‘they just gave us our only chance.’ We go down 30-17, and then (Jets WR Corey Davis) CD has a quick touchdown. At that point, we are all believing. Now we are going to get this onside kick. As soon as they scored, we were like, ‘Oh, that is kind of quick; we still have a shot at this.”

Throughout the week, many called for Saleh to bench Flacco, but to the 15-year veteran’s credit, he had a solid performance as he was 26/44 for 307 yards and four touchdowns on Sunday. Despite everything, Saleh still trusts Flacco.

“Joe is 37 years old; he has been in this league a long time,” Saleh said. “He has seen the worst of times and the best of times. He knows that last week wasn’t his best game. You just trust that a guy like Joe, who has been in this league long enough, will rebound. You knew that he will take care of the football and that he would get the ball where it needed to go and give ourselves a chance.”

You can say the Jets got lucky against the Browns, but good teams make their own luck. Not to say the Jets are a good team. However, they beat a good team on the road, which could be something to build on.