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’ Huff: ‘We’re not the same old Jets’

The New York Jets(6=3) showed the AFC East and the NFL that they can compete with the top teams as they defeated the Buffalo Bills(6-2) 20-17 Sunday at MetLife Stadium.

Many are shocked by this win for the Jets, but according to head coach Robert Saleh, he’s not surprised.

“Last week, we felt like we gave one away,” Saleh said after the win. “We practiced well this week. Not that practice ever translates, but I feel like it does. Last week wasn’t demoralizing to anyone. It was like, ‘damn, we are pretty good’ when you’re feeling like you should win football games. There wasn’t a coach or a person in that locker room that didn’t think we were going to be able to get this one done.”

Jets DE Bryce Huff, who had a huge strip-sack of Josh Allen on the Bills’ final drive, says this is not the same old Jets.

“We’re not the same old Jets,” he said. “We’ve got a group of guys here that love to work. We show up to work every day with the same mindset, just get better and go 1-0 on Sunday.”

One of the biggest reasons the Jets got the win was their defense. New York’s defense held the Bills to a season-low 17 points; they held one of the best quarterbacks in football, Allen, without a touchdown pass for the first time this season, and they intercepted him twice. In addition, they sacked Allen five times in this one, and the Pro Bowler completed only 52%(18/34) of his passes.

Coming into this game, the Jets were in the top ten in total defense and sacks, and after two picks on Sunday, they are now second in interceptions. One of the things the players believe makes this defense go is their relationship off the field.

“We really love each other,” Jets corner D.J. Reed said. “We hang out outside of football; everybody’s close-knit, just close, it’s family. I think that’s all we’ve got to go play for each other that hard.”

DE Jermaine Johnson added on the defense: “We really forget the business side of the NFL. It feels like we’re on a high school team, like that’s the camaraderie we got, and we’re just close. Like we hang out outside the building, we have fun when we’re in the building; it’s not just business to us. So, there’s a real-life connection here, and we display it. It’s getting better every Sunday.”

With the Jets trailing 14-10 in the third quarter, New York’s rookie corner Sauce Gardner intercepted Allen, which set up the Jets’ final touchdown and gave the team a lead late in the third. Gardner discussed what he saw on that interception.

“We were in a cover-two concept, to my side,” he said. “The receiver got outside of me, and they had a running back there sat in front of me. It was a running back or receiver; I don’t know. I just, I felt like I had a feel for Josh Allen and the throws he likes to make. So, I was just taking away the throws to the running back; I tried to time it up to make the play.”

Defense wins championships, but that’s not to say the Jets are a championship-caliber team; however, it says because of its defense, New York will be able to compete with some of the better teams in football, and they showed that on Sunday.

Official: Jets acquire Robinson from Jaguars

The Jacksonville Jaguars have traded running back James Robinson to the New York Jets for a conditional sixth-round pick, the teams announced today.

With Breece Hall out for the season with a torn ACL, the Jets needed a running back, and with former first-round pick Travis Etienne Jr. getting the bulk of the carries in Jacksonville, Robinson became expendable. 

In seven games this season, the 24-year-old Robinson, who returned after tearing his Achilles in 2021, rushed for 340 yards on 81 carries.

As a rookie in 2020, he gained 1,414 scrimmage yards, the most by an undrafted rookie in NFL history. Robinson attended Illinois State and signed with the Jaguars as a rookie free agent in April 2020.

Robinson played in 35 games for the Jaguars from 2020-22 and rushed 485 times for 2,177 yards and 18 touchdowns. 

STATEMENT FROM THE JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS ON ROBINSON:

The Jacksonville Jaguars are grateful to have had James Robinson as a member of this organization and thank him for his many contributions on the field, in the locker room, and in the community during what were three impactful seasons in Jacksonville. We wish James well in New York as he continues his career with the Jets.

Jets’ Saleh on Wilson: ‘He doesn’t flinch’

Two things the New York Jets(2-2) know how to do: win on the road and do it in comeback fashion, and they did that on Sunday against the Steelers(1-3).

New York, who won their first game of the season on the road against the Browns in comeback fashion in Week 2, did the same things against the Steelers. The Jets trailed 20-10 in the fourth quarter but scored 14 points in the final stanza to defeat Pittsburgh 24-20 at Acrisure Stadium.

Jets quarterback Zach Wilson made his 2022 debut Sunday and led the Jets on two scoring drives in the fourth. It wasn’t all good for Wilson as he threw two picks, but he got the job done when the Jets needed him the most.

The second-year quarterback was 10/12 for 128 yards and a touchdown in the fourth and ended the day 18/36 for 252 yards, a touchdown, and two picks. Also, he had a two-yard touchdown reception in the first half.

“He doesn’t flinch,” Jets head coach Robert Saleh said about Wilson after the win. “There was a couple plays that I’m sure he wishes he had back. The young man doesn’t flinch. He got us out of a lot of bad situations with his mobility. I thought he played a pretty good game for his first game back.”

On the final drive for the Jets, the team traveled 65 yards on 10 plays, which ended with a two-yard Breece Hall touchdown. According to Wilson, he knew the offense would score on that drive.

“From the beginning, I think there was no doubt in my mind, especially when we hit a couple quick passes and stuff there, too, and we were running the ball well,” Wilson said about scoring on the final drive. “I feel like as an offense, you can just feel it.”

The Jets finished 3-14 last season and did not win their second game until Week 8 in 2021, and after four weeks, Saleh is really proud of his team.

“It was just a really cool NFL game,” he said. “And for as young as we are, to have the mindset to stay in it, go 60 minutes, again, really proud of the group with the mindset and just exchanging blows with another opponent being 2-2 right now, it’s pretty good. We’ve got a really good chance. But you never know.”

The Jets probably don’t get this win in 2021, but credit the team for fighting hard and getting another tough win on the road.

Notes:

Wilson caught the first touchdown pass of his career as Braxton Berrios connected with him on a two-yard touchdown pass.

‘Yeah, first I hand it, and I see everyone flowing, and I’m like, oh, thank goodness,” Wilson said about the play. “I’ve got the best hands on the team.”

Jets’ Saleh does not rule out quarterback change

On Sunday, Joe Flacco and the jets’ offense had a lot of struggles in the team’s 24-9 loss to the Baltimore Ravens in the season opener at MetLife Stadium. New York scored only nine points; Flacco was sacked three times and under pressure throughout the game. In addition, the Jets were terrible on third-down conversions(2/14).

The 15-year veteran finished the game 37/59 for 359 yards, a touchdown, and an interception. The touchdown came when the game was out of reach.

During Sunday’s loss, the MetLife Stadium crowd called for QB Mike White to replace the 37-year-old Flacco. It did not happen, but it could be something that Jets coach Robert Saleh may do if the offense continues to struggle while Zach Wilson(knee) recovers from injury.

“Right now, everything’s always under discussion and under review, talking with Rob (Calabrese), talking with Mike (LaFleur),” Saleh said. “Obviously, we’re not done with our postgame evaluation and all that stuff, and much appreciated with the passion with quarterbacks and all that stuff, but Joe’s (Flacco) been very, very steady throughout OTAs, training camp.

“Last year, threw four over 300 on Miami in a really good game. We’ve got all the utmost faith in Joe. Does that mean something can’t happen tonight? I’m not going to promise you anything, but at the same time, as of now, Joe is our starting quarterback.”

When asked if a final decision was made about who would start on Sunday, Saleh said the following:

“Yeah, it’s more likely going to be Joe, guys, but to be honest, the doors open on every position every week.”

The Jets are in rebuild mode right now, and few people think they are very good. According to Saleh, he’s watching everyone who’s mocking the Jets and is taking receipts.

“We’re all taking receipts on all the people who continually mock and say that we aren’t going to do anything,” he said. “I’m taking receipts, and I’m going to be more than happy to share them with all of you when it’s all said and done.”

Regarding Flacco, the Jets might want to go with Mike White, who was decent in the preseason and threw for 405 yards and three touchdowns in a victory over the Cincinnati Bengals last season in his first career start. He’s younger(27) and probably won’t be much worse than Flacco was on Sunday. 

We’ll see what Saleh does as the team travels to Cleveland to face the Browns. 

Jets’ Saleh on Mims: ‘He is one of our better players, and we’ve got to find a way to make this work’

On Thursday, New York Jets wide receiver Denzel Mims requested a trade through his agent, Ron Slavin(Via NFL Network). According to a statement from Slavin, Mims wants an opportunity to work with the starters and be a contributor to a team.

“It’s just time,” said Slavin in the statement. “Denzel has tried in good faith, but it is clear he does not have a future with the Jets. Denzel vowed to come back better than ever this season, and he worked extremely hard in the offseason to make that happen. Still, he has been given no opportunities with the starting offense to get into a groove with them.

“We feel at this point a trade is our only option, since the Jets have repeatedly told us they will not release him. Joe Douglas(Jets GM) has always done right by Denzel, and we trust that he will do everything in his power to find another team where Denzel can be a contributor.”

On Friday, Jets coach Robert Saleh discussed the trade request. The second-year coach would like to keep Mims in New York.

It’s not over. I’m not going to say it’s over with,” Saleh said. “Is it (disappointing)? Sure. You go into this, and you fight for all your guys, and you try to get them where you want them to be. You just want to see these guys have success. All the individual players, you want them to have successful careers and achieve all their personal goals. With that said, I do think Denzel has done a great job. I’m standing by it. He’s had really good OTAs. He’s done a really good job in training camp, and it’s just a matter him finding his niche and finding his role. I know he’s frustrated; we’ve talked about before that he’s not where he wants to be. That doesn’t mean that he can’t get there. He’s got to continue to grind.”

While Saleh wants the second-round pick in the 2020 draft to stick around in New York, he believes the Jets have to do what’s best for the Jets.

“I don’t think it’s a locker room distraction,” he said. “That’s what I’m getting at. It’s the business part of it. He’s one of our 53-best. This is the business part of it in that in my heart, and I think you look at Denzel, it’s not, ‘I don’t want to be a part of New York.’ It’s not, ‘I don’t like my locker room. I don’t like my teammates. I don’t like my coaches.’ It’s, ‘I want more,’ which is understandable, but at the same time, not to speak for Joe (Douglas), all of us, for a decision-making standpoint, we have to do what’s best for our organization, and he is one of our better players, and we’ve got to find a way to make this work.”

Mims has 31 catches for 490 yards in two seasons with the Jets and no touchdowns. Last season, in 11 games, Mims caught eight passes for 133 yards. Mims had some bad luck in 2021, including a bout with COVID and food poisoning. 

Regarding being a starter, which Mims thinks he is, he’s running behind Corey Davis, Garrett Braxton Berrios, and Elijah Moore. Barring injury, it appears that will continue to happen. 

Maybe a change of scenery would benefit Mims, and while the team reportedly is not going to give him away, there could be teams out there that may have interest in a young(24), fast(4.38, 40), wideout with decent size(6-3, 207 pounds). However, maybe the Jets and Mims can work things out. 

Jets QB Joe Flacco talks Daniel Jones

Football is a game of continuity. The coaching staff and everyone on the field must know the assignment and what they’re doing at all times. However, coaches change, personnel change and players must learn new things.

Giants quarterback Daniel Jones is learning a new offensive system for the third time in four seasons as New York hired former Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll as their head coach in the offseason.

According to Jones, learning a new offense takes time.

“I think I do have some experience with it now, so that’s helped in the process in learning it,” Jones said after the joint practice with the Jets on Thursday. “I think the toughest part is that it takes time, it takes the reps, it takes practice, it takes meetings, having the conversations, correcting things, getting on the same page, moving guys around. All that takes time; there’s a process to it. That’s what we’ve been doing, and I think we’ve done a good job up to this point. Like I said, the next couple of weeks are important for us before we kickoff in Nashville.

Jets QB Joe Flacco is with his fourth team in four seasons, and like Jones, had to learn new offenses. According to the 15-year veteran, if Jones plays well, he and Daboll can be together for many years.

“You would obviously like to get in with a good guy that you really like and gain a rapport with,” Flacco said. “When you’re back there playing quarterback, you’re not having to think about all the little details because you’ve just done it for long enough that it just comes naturally, so I can relate to that a little bit, and for him at this point, it is what it is. I would say to him; hopefully, he has as much success as possible this year so that it doesn’t have to happen anymore, and I think the good thing with him is this offense is created by the head coach, so if they can do well together, then they can be in it together for a long time.”

Flacco had some praise for the 25-year-old Jones:

“I think he’s a hell of an athlete and a great young quarterback, so I wish him the best of luck.’

The time is now for Jones to make it happen if he wants to stick around in New York after this season. He’s not Daboll’s guy, which could make things challenging, but if he wants to be Daboll’s guy, Jones is going to have to show him and the organization a lot in 2022. 

Jets’ Saleh was happy with Zach Wilson’s performance at Green & White Practice

The New York Jets had their Green & White Practice Saturday under the lights at MetLife Stadium. 

It was an opportunity for the team to connect with the fans and an opportunity for the Jets to continue to get some good work in as they prepare for the upcoming NFL season.

Second-year quarterback Zach Wilson had some decent moments in this scrimmage. According to Newsday’s Al Iannazzone, Wilson was 12/19 for 100 yards, touchdown, interception. 

Jets coach Robert Saleh was happy with Wilson’s performance. 

“I really thought it was really good,” Saleh said. “He dropped a dime over a buzz defender’s head in the second half there, and I thought it was a chance to keep the drive going, had a really good strike there in the two-minute drive. I think it was to Corey (Davis). He moved around in the pocket, found some open lanes to run in, and bide some time. He was really good in the huddle, just standing back there listening to him. He was good with cadence because he was changing up his cadence. So, I thought he was really good.”

One guy that stood out at the scrimmage was fifth-year tight end Tyler Conklin, who Wilson has been connecting with throughout training camp.

According to the New York Post’s Brian Costello, Conklin had four catches Saturday night.

Saleh was happy with Conklin and the rest of the Jets’ tight ends. 

“Conk (Tyler Conklin) is awesome, he’s been fantastic for us,” Saleh said. “Him and C.J. (Uzomah), they’ve been really good. (Trevon) Wesco has been really good, (Lawrence) Cager has been really good. The whole group really has been really good for us, but as far as he’s concerned, just his ability on third down to create separation and win those one-on-one’s and be a run blocker, he’s an all-around tight end. He’s been a pleasant surprise.”

There were drops by some of the Jets wideouts, but it’s nothing that is concerning to Saleh.

I could make excuses,” he said. “We’re professionals; we got to make plays. But, at the same time, just talking to the guys, the first time you’re in the stadium, the depth perception is much different. So, you have to retrain your eyes for all of that, too. Not to make excuses for them; it’s a real thing, and just adjusting to all of it. That’s why we had these scrimmages here. That’s why we have preseason games, so we can get acclimated to everything. Overall, I even thought the receivers battled a lot in man coverage, won some one-on-ones, and overall, a decent day from that group.”

New York gets back to the practice field on Monday.

Jets’ Saleh: ‘I think Zach(Wilson) will be a lot better’

After struggling in his rookie season, the New York Jets are hoping that QB Zach Wilson will be better in 2022. Last season, the second overall pick in the 2021 draft struggled as he threw for 2,334 with only nine touchdowns and 11 picks in 13 starts. In those 13 starts, the Jets were 3-10 and finished the season 4-13.

“I have to do better,” Wilson said earlier this week. “So, how can I keep improving? And not stressing so much about the season coming up and the expectations and all that. It’s how can I keep improving day by day and trusting in the guys around me, get them the football, be consistent, throw good balls, be smart, all the things a quarterback needs to do. And I think that’ll take care of itself.”

According to his coach, Wilson, who added around 12 pounds from last season, has gotten better. 

“I think he already has,” Jets coach Robert Saleh said Friday about Wilson taking the next step. “I think Zach(Wilson) will be a lot better, but at the same time, we are a very young group. So, we’ve added guys, but it’s a young group. You’ve got a rookie. You’ve got a second-year player. Obviously, Corey (Davis) is there, and Braxton (Berrios). You got Jeff (Smith) and (Denzel) Mims and a couple other guys. The backfield is young. It is a young group, but at the same time, what is going to be fun is watching this group gel together and create its own identity. Obviously, we have some good players, and they’re all going to grow together. Aside from all of that, I thought Zach did a really good job in the offseason. He’s continued in the first week.”

Last season, Wilson, who was sacked 44 times, completed only 55.6% of his passes, which must improve in 2022, and he expects to improve that number.

“I don’t think it’s something mechanically that needs to be changed,” Wilson said. “I feel like I’ve always been able to throw the ball. When you understand where to go with the ball, and you have that confidence and understanding within the offense, you’re able to be accurate because you’re confident where you’re going with the ball. I think that’s one thing, and also finding completions. Just telling yourself on every single play, yes, make the best decision but find a completion too. Maybe sometimes you might miss the one down the field, but as long as you’re finding a completion, you’re doing the right thing.”

The 22-year-old recently had some off-the-field relationship drama, but for him, the focus is on football. 

“It comes with the position,” he said. “So, really, it’s just handling my business, handling what matters, and keeping my family tight. We’re all good. So, I’m excited to be here and really just focus on football. I’ve never mentally felt like I’m in a better spot than I am now, so I’m excited to be here.”

In the offseason, Wilson spent time in Idaho with some Jets players; according to Wilson, the players did many things, including working on the field.

“We found a spot, a little ranch, (Gazza) Ranch in Northern Idaho,” Wilson said. “We flew. A lot of the guys were like, ‘We’re going to Canada. Where are we going?’ But, they had quite the trip out there. We had an awesome spot. It was great for us. We went golfing one day, boating the next day, taught those guys how to wake surf a little bit. They set up a perfect field for us, painted some NFL lines for us. We got to work on a lot of stuff. More than anything, it was like I said back when we were leaving OTAs; it was a good bonding moment for all of us to sit by the fire at night and talk. It was a really cool trip. We definitely had a blast together.”

To Saleh’s point, the Jets are a young football team, and the weapons around Wilson are also young. So, as they grow, hopefully for the Jets, Wilson will continue to grow and improve in 2022 and beyond.