Time is a flat circle, but we want to help you break it. To that end, we commissioned two experts, one familiar with the ins and outs of New York’s professional football teams, and the other a nationally-focused football analyst, to answer an important question as a weekly service to readers: Are the jets good yet? ?
Devin Gordon, author of The Many Ways to Lose: The Incredible True Story of the New York Mets, The Worst Team in Sports, observed the Jets from a locally focused perspective.
Diante Lee, NFL analyst at Pro Football Focus, offered a national view.
The Jets (2-5) ended the first-quarter drought and defeated the Cincinnati Bengals (5-3) 34-31 in their winning line-up.
An insider’s point of view:
Who is Mike White? Your level of interest in answering this question should go a long way in determining your current level of interest in Jets. White: Dallas Cowboys fifth-round pick in 2018 draft, 171st overall from Western Kentucky; Intercepted four times by the jets; he had never taken a photo before this season; now a minor folk hero at MetLife Stadium.
White is currently the Jets’ starting quarterback, and based on his performance against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday – 11 back-to-back completions, 400-yard crossings, three touchdowns to start the game – the team looks likely to hold the job until the opening. Starting the week, Zach Wilson may return from a knee injury.
White finished off an afternoon storybook by capturing the victory-sealing 2-point conversion with a somewhat daring trick, giving the Jets one of the most likely victories of this season over the AFC North leaders Bengals. White was poised and effective all afternoon, completing 37 of his 45 tries and making the Jets’ rookie quarterbacks look like legitimate scoring weapons, beating Michael Carter and wide receiver Elijah Moore.
It was actually such a special afternoon for the Jets that it was easy to ignore the bishop in the room—the pressing question of today’s offensive blast for the rest of the season: who exactly is Zach Wilson?
Verdict: The Jets are almost as interesting as the quarterback competition on the sidelines.
We’re all in a conundrum: Strange as it may sound, the Jets are now 2-5 and none of their games really matter.
For a moment, let’s dive into some hot artist cosplay and look at the team’s fake quarterback controversy.
The Jets beat the Bengals 34-31 at home to get ahead of the 1-6 Houston Texans, who had the worst record in the AFC, Mike White joined Cam Newton as the only quarterback to shoot more than 400 yards. Their debut and White’s fourth-quarter play on Sunday saved the Jets’ porous defense from spoiling the game.
The talking heads of the sports radio universe, which heats up for hours of debate over whether the Jets’ offense is centered around White, are almost audible. Perhaps a fourth-year backup, White “ordered a rally” in a way that rookie Zach Wilson did not. After all, last game was too hot to begin with, with every single one of the Jets’ first 14 passes caught, including a pair of Bengals defenders.
For the first time this year, the Jets’ offense scored a first-quarter goal, and Sunday’s 34 points were the most they’ve managed in a single game this season: 30 percent of their 2021 points.
Four of the Jets’ next five games are against opponents with records below .500. The odds of repeating (or improving) Sunday’s performance depend more on this fact than whether White or Wilson scored.
Verdict: For Halloween, the Jets dressed up as an authorized criminal.