Mike White is the right quarterback for the Jets in this moment – The Denver Post


Despite the 10-3 loss to the Patriots, the Jets still find themselves in the heart of a playoff race.

If the postseason started today, Gang Green would be the seventh and final seed in AFC.

That’s one of the many reasons the Jets had to bench Zach Wilson and start Mike White this weekend against the Bears. While he was 5-2 as the team’s starting quarterback this year, Wilson continued to make some of the same on-the-field mistakes as a rookie. That was evidenced during the game against the Patriots, where he sailed passes over receiver’s heads and nearly had multiple interceptions as he completed 9 of 22 passes for 77 yards and zero touchdowns.

Since returning from the meniscus injury that kept him out for seven weeks, Wilson’s play has been mediocre as he has thrown for 1,279 yards, four touchdowns and five interceptions. His play has been so poor that Joe Flacco, who started only three games this season in place of Wilson, still leads the team in touchdown passes (five).

If his abysmal play wasn’t bad enough, Wilson’s postgame comments proved he was not ready for this moment. Just minutes after suffering a last-second loss to the Patriots on Marcus Jones’ 84-yard punt return, Wilson was asked if he felt like he “let the defense down at all” after the offense didn’t register a touchdown.

“No, no,” Wilson said. At the moment, it was time for Jets coach Robert Saleh to pull the plug on the Wilson experiment. Sure, the Jets selected Wilson with the number two overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. However, Gang Green’s defense is proving it is ready to win and win now.

The Jets are ranked ninth in the NFL in total defense (310.5 yards per game) and points allowed (18.6). At 6-4, the Jets have a chance at the playoffs for the first time since 2010 with a championship-level quality defense.

“When you look at it from last game and you see some of the things that were popping up, again, it’s not just Zach, just as an offense altogether,” Saleh said. “The simple running, blocking, passing, catching, the simple fundamentals and the simple basics that need to be executed, it’s our job to take a step back and you start watching.

“You go back and you watch all the practices, and you’re just trying to absorb as much information as you can. For me, it was, ‘You know what, this young man needs a reset.’ There’s just a lot of things going on for him and for the offense, and it’s just in my opinion that he needs a chance to go off to the side, catch your breath, and he’s got to reconnect to these fundamentals, otherwise, it’s just going to keep going, at least in my opinion.

“It doesn’t mean that we’ve lost faith in him. It doesn’t mean we’ve waivered off where we think he’s going to go. Consider it a slingshot — you might get pulled back a little bit, but I think when we let go, it’s just going to take off.”

White might not have Wilson’s overall talent or be as big of a prospect coming out of college. However, he deserves the opportunity to get his chance to play and possibly lead the Jets for the rest of the season.

Although Saleh said Wilson’s comments didn’t factor into his decision to bench him, there was no way he could trot him onto the field, especially in front of Jets fans at MetLife Stadium Sunday. White has worked his way from being on the Jets practice squad to the backup quarterback and now starting quarterback, at least for this week against the Bears.

All White needs to do is be an average quarterback and a leader of men, something Wilson could not do. The Jets currently rank 28th in the league in total offense (311.8) and 25th in passing yards (201.5).

Average quarterback play can get the Jets to the postseason with seven games left. Gang Green doesn’t need White to be Superman or be someone he’s not. However, they need him to limit the turnovers, something he couldn’t do in his last start against the Bills last season.

White completed 24 of 44 passes for 251 yards, zero touchdowns and four interceptions. Jet fans are hoping White will have a form similar to win the Jets defeated the Bengals last season when he completed 37 of 45 passes for 405 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions.

“We have full confidence in everybody in that quarterback room,” Jets wide receiver Braxton Berrios told the Daily News. He (White) brings a lot of talent and obviously, he has the game experience.

“He had that Hall of Fame incredible game. We are just looking for him to go out there and play his normal game.”

Maybe White is the player who can right the ship and gets the Jets going offensively. Perhaps he isn’t and the team will be looking for a new quarterback next offseason.

Whatever the case is, White is the person who should lead the Jets right now. Wilson had 20 games to show growth and potential, and it led the Jets right back to where they started before the team drafted him nearly two years ago.



Source link