It is a Victory Monday for the New York Jets as they defeated the Chicago Bears 31-10 yesterday at MetLife Stadium. To celebrate the triumph, let’s give out some game balls to deserving members of the Jets.
Mike White: There will be plenty of time to discuss the big picture meaning of White’s Week 12 performance. Can he sustain that level of play? How long will he keep the quarterback job? How far can he take the Jets?
We will get the answers to questions like those in due time. For now, let’s just appreciate how good White was against Chicago. For his entire Jets career I have doubted Mike White, and he just keeps making me look foolish (admittedly not the most difficult thing to do).
This was the second straight year White stepped into the lineup and played stellar football. His game against the Bears was far and away the top quarterback performance the Jets have received all year long.
On a team with the type of defensive line and cornerback group the Jets have, the offense doesn’t need to be spectacular most weeks for this team to have a chance to win. They just need efficient quarterback play. A guy who gets through his progressions on time, gets the ball to the open receiver, and protects the football will suffice.
White did more than that on Sunday. He flashed a bit of playmaking potential. Only time will tell whether White can replicate what he did on a consistent basis, but I saw plenty that seemed transferable from game to game.
No matter what happens from here, White gave the offense quite a jolt against Chicago.
Garrett Wilson: Wilson’s frustration with the offense Week 11 against the Patriots was palpable. He never explicitly clarified how much of that frustration was with Zach Wilson, but the wide receiver seemed like he was in a much better mood this week. In a game where the Jets spread the football around with 10 different receivers recording at least one reception, Wilson led the way with 5 catches for 95 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
Elijah Moore: I don’t think it’s all Zach Wilson’s fault, but he and Moore have just never been on the same page. Moore has been largely invisible in the games he has played with Wilson the last two years. With other quarterbacks, he has looked like a threat to defenses. Moore wasn’t a focal part of the offense for the Jets Sunday, but the few times he was involved produced big results. Moore’s two receptions went for 22 yards and 42 yards. The 22 yarder was a touchdown. It would be no small development down the stretch if Moore could turn into a quality sidekick for Wilson in the receiving game.
Zonovan Knight: Knight flashed during the summer in training camp and the preseason, but the backfield was too crowded for him to find a roster spot. He had to go to the practice squad and wait for his turn. That turn came on Sunday. James Robinson was inactive. Michael Carter was injured. Knight produced an impressive 103 yards from scrimmage. He looked like a tough runner with a bit of burst. He also looked capable as a pass catcher. Breece Hall’s injury left an opening that nobody has stepped into yet. There is every chance for the rookie to earn a big role down the stretch.
Ty Johnson: Like many Jets fans, I have been hard on Johnson. I don’t think it has been unfair. The back has been marginally productive at his best and a liability out of the backfield at his worst the last few year. But if we criticize when he fails, we also must give credit when Johnson produces. Johnson’s 32 yard touchdown run in the third quarter broke the game open. It was part of a game where he produced 62 yards on the ground on just 5 carries and even added a 16 yard reception.
Bryce Huff: I have to admit I was skeptical months ago when the Jets coaching staff revealed a study of their 2021 pass rush revealed Huff’s presence was one of the most important factors behind the Jets getting to opposing quarterbacks. I believe them now. He is having a stellar year as a situational pass rusher, and his sack yesterday came with top speed off the line.
John Franklin-Myers: Franklin-Myers had a sack on the first play from scrimmage of the second half (split with Nathan Shepherd on the stat sheet.) It felt to me like that play set the tone for the rest of the game. A Jets defense that had a shaky first half immediately started playing up to its standards to start the final two quarters.
Greg Zuerlein: I know he missed a field goal in the second half, but that came after the man made a 57 yard field goal in bad weather. Finally the Jets’ kicking woes seem to be behind them.