The New York Jets were home on Sunday hosting the hapless Chicago Bears. After the Bears took an early lead in the opening minute of the second quarter, the Jets scored 24 unanswered points the rest of the way to cruise to a relatively easy 31 - 10 victory behind 300+ passing yards and 3 touchdown passes by new starting quarterback Mike White. Now the Jets prepare for a road game against the 9-2 Minnesota Vikings, which should prove to be a much greater challenge. A win this week and a loss by the Miami Dolphins would put the Jets in position to play for first place in the AFC East the following week against the Buffalo Bills in Buffalo.
How did the power rankings feel about the Jets victory over the Chicago Bears? Let’s find out.
Tier 3 The Playoff Contenders
13. New York Jets
It’s difficult to get a great feel for whether the Jets’ offense is actually better, or if the offensive explosion was a product of a defunded Bears defense. However, Mike White was outstanding against the opponent offered him in his first start of the season.
White went 22 of 28 for 315 yards and three touchdowns on the day. He generated 0.56 EPA per play and had a CPOE of 8.6%. In other words, his statistical performance was otherworldly. He’ll play another underwhelming secondary next week when the Jets face Minnesota, but the bandwagon will steamroll down the street if White plays well again.
16. New York Jets (17)
Mike White replaced Zach Wilson as the starting quarterback and led the Jets to their first opening-drive touchdown of the season. He poured it on with 315 passing yards and three touchdowns (two to Garrett Wilson) in a 31-10 win over the Trevor Siemian-led Bears. For the fifth time, the defense was gifted a game against a backup quarterback.
11. New York Jets (7-4)
Week 12 ranking: 15
Realistic expectation: Finishing 10-7 to snag a wild-card spot.
It won’t be easy, especially with four of the remaining six on the road, but the Jets are 4-1 on the road this season and defense travels. They’re ranked fourth in scoring defense, and if the Mike White-led offense can be middle-of-the-road, the Jets should be fine because they’re 6-0 when scoring at least 18 points.
12. Jets (14): Among the reasons benched QB Zach Wilson is now riding the pine? He hasn’t developed a connection with first-round rookie WR Garrett Wilson, whose four TD grabs have been supplied by backups Joe Flacco and Mike White. In fact, while Wilson-to-Wilson languished, White-to-Wilson provided the NYJ their first opening-drive TD of the season in Sunday’s win.
With the obvious proviso that power rankings are stupid, unless they praise the Jets, in which case they’re awesome, what do you think? Where should the Jets rank in the NFL power rankings?