7 biggest surprise standouts from the NY Jets' 2021 season

NY Jets, George Fant
NY Jets, George Fant / Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
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NY Jets, Mike White
NY Jets, Mike White / Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

5. Mike White, QB, NY Jets

Though his star faded almost as quickly as it rose, Mike White has to earn a spot on this list, if only because he provided Jets fans with one of the moments of the season.

And let's be honest, who saw this coming?

The talk all offseason was about how the Jets failed to adequately address the backup quarterback position with the inexperienced White backing up rookie Zach Wilson. Neither had appeared in an NFL game prior to the 2021 season.

So when Wilson went down with a knee injury, most immediately feared the worst. That was until White managed to take the NFL by storm and unleash Mike White Mania on the football world.

White started three games for the Jets with his high point undoubtedly being the team's stunning 34-31 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 18. The former Western Kentucky standout finished the game 37-of-45 throwing for 405 yards, three touchdowns, and two interceptions.

He was even enshrined in Canton after the game with a special exhibit dedicated to his performance. It's easy to forget how White's name dominated headlines for a couple of weeks, only for it to fall apart with a four-interception performance against the Buffalo Bills two weeks later.

Still, we'll always have that one game. The Mike White game. And for that, he deserves a spot on this list.