According to a report Sunday morning from FOX Sports’ Jay Glazer, the New York Jets’ coaching staff made the decision to bench starting quarterback Zach Wilson due to confidence. Specifically, the coaching staff had lost confidence in Wilson, and the quarterback had lost confidence in himself.
Furthermore, Glazer reported that Wilson would not get his job back until he had regained that confidence in his own abilities.
However, there might be another barrier to Wilson getting his job back.
What we saw today from Mike White.
Starting in place of Wilson, White completed 22 of 28 passes for 315 yards and 3 touchdown passes, as the Jets throttled the Bears by a final score of 31-10. The victory was big for New York’s playoff chances, but perhaps even bigger for the future of their offense.
Despite the weather conditions, White began the game against Chicago red-hot. With heavy rain falling at MetLife Stadium, White and the Jets drove down the field on their opening possession of the game, with White hitting on six of his seven throws to start the contest. He capped off the drive with his first touchdown of the afternoon, connecting with rookie Garrett Wilson
White remains patient in the pocket, waiting for Wilson to break to the outside. Once the rookie makes his cut, White puts the football between the numbers, for the first touchdown of the game.
White and the Jets were just getting started.
Later in the first half, with the Bears holding a 10-7 lead, White connected with Wilson again, this time on a 54-yard catch-and-run:
Two things stand out about this throw. First, the velocity. Coming out of Western Kentucky, White’s arm talent was one of his calling cards. In fact, White was a promising pitcher in high school and many thought his future was in professional baseball. But he made the switch to football and never looked back.
On this dig route to Wilson, you can see the ball explode out of his hands, rocketing upfield towards the rookie receiver.
But then there is how White layers this throw, putting it over the underneath defender to make the connection. As you can see on the replay angle, White has the ability to put this throw above linebacker Matt Adams, but still put it on Wilson to make the completion.
From there, the receiver does the rest.
White’s third touchdown of the afternoon, a 22-yard connection with second-year receiver Elijah Moore, offers another example of his arm talent:
New York dials up a sail concept, with Moore running the deep out route to the left side of the field. White, feeling some pressure off the right edge, slides away from that pressure, making the throw to Moore from an unsettled platform. But again you see the velocity, as White puts this throw right on the receiver for his third touchdown pass of the game.
With that touchdown, White had the third three-touchdown game of his career, matching his effort against the Cincinnati Bengals from a season ago.
Wilson is still looking for his first three-touchdown effort:
Mike White has 3 Pass TD today— NFL on CBS (@NFLonCBS) November 27, 2022
Zach Wilson has NEVER thrown 3 Pass TD in a game in his career pic.twitter.com/g2EMc6q0Fo
The win over Chicago saw the Jets improve to 7-5 on the season, keeping them in playoff position. Not only is New York in one of the Wild-Card spots at the moment, but the victory over the Bears keeps them within striking distance of first place in the AFC East. The Buffalo Bills and the Miami Dolphins have matching 8-3 records, with the Dolphins owning the tiebreaker at the moment over Buffalo thanks to a win earlier in the season.
More importantly for the Jets, however?
They have a starting quarterback who seemingly does not lack for confidence.
That could be an even bigger development in New York.