Peering down the Vikings schedule heading towards Week #13 we were never really sure what to think of the New York Jets. Pretty dominant on defense they hadn’t really been able to get things going on the offensive side of the ball, especially since promising rookie RB Breece Hall was lost for the season.
Missing due to injury early in the season, the team’s #2 overall draft selection in the 2021 draft Zach Wilson didn’t help the matter a whole lot. To date, Wilson had been averaging just over 180 yards passing per game and had thrown more interceptions (5) than he had touchdown passes (4).
It all came to a head last week as the Jets and the Patriots locked up in one of the most boring matchups of the year. Call it a defensive battle and I’ll call it disgusting. Wilson’s line on the day read 3 completed passes for 26 total yards. In total, Wilson led the Jets offense on five drives totaling only 2 net yards of offense in the entire second half. Worse yet, the Jets lost the game on a last second punt return and Zach Wilson failed to claim accountability during the post game press conference. That was it for the Jets fan base and apparently New York head coach Robert Saleh.
Cue quarterback Mike White. He’s four years older than Wilson, graduated unheralded from Western Kentucky and was taken with the 171st pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.
White was tabbed as Saleh’s starter for the Jets Week #12 game against the Bears while Wilson was demoted to third string.
White started four games for the Jets in 2021 leading them to a 1-3 record. The lone win saw White throw for 405 yards and 3 TDs in the Jets 34-31 win over the Bengals.
On Sunday though, White took the football world by storm again. Leading the Jets to a 31-10 win over the Bears on Sunday, White completed 22 of 28 passes for 315 yards and 3 passing touchdowns on the day, a nearly perfect passer rating of 149.3. White’s onslaught Sunday against Chicago has excited both the Jets players and fans and has potentially given New York a dynamic offense to go hand in hand with the already accomplished defense.
So the Vikings will have a new challenge to face this coming Sunday as they square off against the 7-4 Jets.
But White is not without fault.
In 2021 his run as the starter ended after he threw four interceptions in a 28-points loss to the Buffalo Bills at home. He’s susceptible to turnovers and can get shaken if pressure can get through into the backfield. He’s still largely unproven with only a little tape available on him, but it’s expected that he’ll be the starter next week when the two teams square off and that alone will make an otherwise unsuspecting game a bit more entertaining!
The health status of the Vikings secondary is unknown at the current moment, but it’s clear they won’t have the full cavalcade of defensive backs so when a passing game flashes the way that the Jets did today, it might be time to take note.
These are the same old Jets that we’ve learned to know and love, but they’re also not impenetrable on either side of the football.
Aj Mansour is a member of The Power Trip Morning Show on KFAN and works for iHeartMedia and the Vikings Radio Network. He’s also a senior writer for VikingsTerritory.com. Be sure to follow him on social media for the latest Vikings news and big opinions – @AjKFAN