Well that helps. There’s nothing like a blowout win to soothe hurt feelings. Mike White was more than anyone could have hoped for and his great game and win over Chicago further eclipsed some of the pain of the New England game. White played the best game at quarterback the Jets have had this season and their best game at that position since week two. The defense shut out the Bears in the second half, keeping them down to just ten points for the game. The Jets won the turnover fight and held their ground with victory in both the playoffs and divisional races.
It would be a little misleading if we didn’t mention the multiple qualifiers for this week’s win. Justin Fields was disabled before the game due to injury. The Bear’s defense is one of the worst in the league. The Bear’s season was over before they came to town – they now sit at 3-9 and have to evaluate their talents for the 2023 season. All of those things are true, but what’s also true is that Mike White can only play when and against whom he’s allowed, and the Jets can only play the teams that are on their schedule. The Jets didn’t hurt Justin Fields and they didn’t help the Bears lose the other eight games they lost this year. The Bears were this week’s opponents and Mike White and the Jets beat them like a good team should beat a bad team. No apologies are necessary.
No qualifiers are required for the next two weeks. Gang Green travels to Minnesota to take on the 9-2 Vikings on Sunday. The Vikings may not be as strong a team as their record suggests, but they’re certainly a quality opponent, and the Vikings spent Sunday doing something the Jets failed in two attempts: beating the Patriots. If the Jets and Mike White play well in Minnesota, the victory will not be affected by opponent strength. Things get even tougher the following week as the Jets travel to Buffalo to confront the Bills. The Bills won’t be surprised by the Jets after losing at the Meadowlands earlier this month. Buffalo will no doubt have the bad taste of this game in their mouths when they take the field, increasing the difficulty for New York. So if you’re in the camp that thinks Mike White hasn’t proven much yet, be patient – how good White and the Jets are will be very clear by 4pm on Dec. 11th.
The Jets meet one of the most successful players this season on Sunday. Justin Jefferson was electric for Minnesota. Jefferson is just a yard behind Tyreek Hill to take the league lead in yard picking. Jefferson has 81 catches on the season and has not fumbled. The Vikings have one of the most balanced offenses in the league. Dalvin Cook is sixth in the league in rushing yards and has six touchdowns so far. Cook is also solid with the ball in his hands and only fumbled with the season once. Kirk Cousins, quarterback for Minnesota, is the guy the Jets defense can make turnovers out of. Cousins played well overall, but he blew once and was intercepted nine times. Minnesota struggles with passport protection. Cousins was sacked 28 times in 11 games. The Jets should be able to apply steady pressure and get Cousins to increase his sales numbers for the season.
On offense, the Jets face the second-worst unit in the league. Only the lions gave up more meters than the Vikings. Mike White should be able to find holes in the Vikings’ porous secondary and the jets should be able to eclipse the 114 yards the Vikings allow on average. The Jets have the more complete team provided they continue to get solid play at quarterback and can stay away from turnovers. If the Jets can stop Jefferson from making too many big plays, they should be able to stall Cousins and the Vikings and capitalize on their weak defense for a big away win.