The NY Jets went into their Week 12 game against the Chicago Bears needing to handle business. It was an unfamiliar feeling for a franchise that had long been on the other side of those games.
On Sunday, the Jets handled business. They cruised to a 31-10 victory over a Bears team starting Trevor Siemian at quarterback and fielding a roster depleted by injuries. They did what they were supposed to do.
Mike White finished 22-of-28 for 315 yards and three touchdowns putting together easily the best performance from a Jets quarterback this season. His emergence sparked the Jets' offense, but he wasn't the only reason they won.
The running game, led by undrafted rookie Zonovan Knight and Ty Johnson, exploded for 158 yards on 4.9 yards per carry against a shoddy Bears run defense. With James Robinson inactive and Michael Carter exiting with an injury, Knight and Johnson took over and made White's job easier.
But let's not bury the lede here. The Jets won this game because they finally received the competent quarterback play they've been searching for. Mike White did what Zach Wilson couldn't — he was accurate and (mostly) reliable.
Mike White helped lead the NY Jets to a blowout victory
When the Jets made the decision to bench Wilson earlier this week, they did so under the impression that continuing to play him would not only hurt his development, but that it would hurt the team. They were right.
Wilson's struggle directly led to both Jets' losses to the New England Patriots. They win if they receive even semi-competent quarterback play in either of those games.
White gave the Jets exactly what they were missing. In fact, he exceeded expectations. White was poised in the pocket, accurate on intermediate passes, and found open receivers — three things Wilson has struggled to do.
This Jets' offense looked completely different with White under center. Yes, they faced a bad Bears defense. Yes, the bar was set unbelievably low. But White was legitimately good on Sunday. Maybe not as good as his final stat line would indicate, but he was good.
The Jets were the better team on Sunday and it showed. For the first time in over half a decade, the Jets entered a game as the odds-on favorites, and they responded with a one-sided, dominant blowout win.
And they did so thanks to the performance of Mike White.