At the beginning of October, Jets backup quarterback Mike White threw a game winning touchdown pass to Washington Redskins tight end Zach Wilson in overtime. The play was later awarded as an NFL’s “Play of the Week” by the league, and it took at least some pressure off what was shaping up to be a disastrous season for New York football fans.
The “jets qb 2021 depth chart” is a position that the Jets are in need of. With Mike White playing like he did on Halloween, Zach Wilson has to be terrified of losing his job.
The most popular player on any squad, according to an ancient football cliché. That’s because, when a starting quarterback struggles, the backup quarterback always seems to be a better option than the starter, and they never have to show it (or disprove it) on the field. With a historic starting debut in Week 8, New York Jets backup Mike White secured his status as the team’s most popular player, which was arguably the scariest thing Zach Wilson watched on Halloween.
Mike White is the quarterback for the New York Jets.
Mike White | Photo courtesy of Getty Images/Sarah Stier .
You’re undoubtedly familiar with Dana White, Reggie White, and Betty White. Mike White, on the other hand, is likely someone you’ve never heard of until today.
According to Sports Illustrated, White grew up in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, as a baseball player rather than a quarterback. His skill earned him a scholarship to the neighboring University of Southern Florida when he began playing the position in high school.
He moved to the University of Western Kentucky after his second season and excelled there. In each of his last two seasons, he passed for over 4,000 yards, which drew the attention of NFL scouts.
The Hilltoppers quarterback was selected in the fifth round of the 2018 NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys released White after a season in Dallas, and he signed with the New York Jets.
White spent the 2019 and 2020 seasons bouncing between the Jets roster and the practice squad. When Gang Green selected Zach Wilson out of BYU with the No. 2 overall selection in 2021, White was pitted against James Morgan, who was just as green.
White won the battle, and when Wilson went down with a damaged PCL in his right knee, White stepped in and started against the strongly favored Cincinnati Bengals in Week 8.
White put on a display as he led the Jets to a huge upset victory against the Bengals.
When the Cincinnati Bengals visited MetLife Stadium in Week 8, it seemed like the Jets would once again be the sacrificial lambs. Cincy entered the game with a 5-2 record, and Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase led one of the league’s fastest attacks.
Mike White was an unexpected surprise for the Bengals.
White led the Jets offense to a 511-yard, 34-point explosion, giving the squad just its second victory of the season in 2021. The Jets hadn’t scored that many points or gained that many yards since Week 12 of the 2019 season, and they hadn’t thrown for that many yards since Week 5 of 2018.
White’s performance was outstanding. He completed 37 of 45 passes for 405 yards and three touchdowns while also throwing two interceptions. On a trick play, he also grabbed a two-point convert to put the Jets up 34 points.
This wasn’t simply a fantastic performance. It was a momentous event. White’s 11-of-11 start was the longest for a first career start since 1978, according to Elias Sports Bureau (h/t @RichCimini). According to ESPN Stats & Info, he is just the second quarterback since 1950 to pass for over 400 yards in his first start, joining Cam Newton.
Overall, the Jets had a wonderful day, but how about their franchise quarterback?
Zach Wilson, a rookie quarterback, should be concerned about his starting position.
In six games in 2021, Zach Wilson went 104-of-181 (57.5 percent) for 1,168 yards, four touchdowns, and a still-league-leading nine interceptions.
Mike White threw for a higher percentage (82.2%), more than a quarter of the yards, and one fewer touchdowns than Wilson in only one game.
Wilson was selected with the No. 2 overall selection by the New York Jets. That implies he’ll be the quarterback of the future until he either proves himself or busts out. But it doesn’t mean he has to be the starting quarterback right now, and White will get a chance to argue that point.
White’s performance ensured that he would get another start, and the Jets were able to avoid rushing Wilson back. If the backup-turned-starter can repeat his performance against the Indianapolis Colts next week, he could be able to lock down the starting job for the rest of the season.
This may be excellent for New York City. Wilson’s growth may benefit by allowing him to sit and study. It would enable him to concentrate on understanding the mental part of the NFL while also allowing him to bulk up his 6-foot-2, 214-pound physique.
The worst-case scenario for Wilson and the Jets is that White remains hot, the organization puts Wilson back into the lineup, and the rookie performs miserably. This would elicit a backlash from Jets supporters, maybe irreparably damaging the young quarterback’s psyche.
The Jets may be in a fantastic place right now, but they are still the Jets. White and his outstanding performance should be savored by the organization and its supporters now, before something goes wrong in classic Jets manner.
Pro Football Reference provided all stats.
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The “jets qb 2020” is the story of how Jets backup quarterback Mike White saved his team’s season. The last thing he wanted to do was go out on Halloween with a loss.
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