Mike White steps back into the lineup at quarterback for the Jets on Sunday. White’s return comes at a critical time for the team. Despite the current four game losing streak, none of the competition has run away with the final Playoff spot in the AFC. There is still an opportunity for the Jets to end their eleven year postseason drought.
White certainly has his limitations, but to this point in the season his presence has led to the Jets offense running at a higher level than it has under other quarterbacks.
The Jets have scored on 39.3% of drives so far this season with White at quarterback. If we extrapolated that to the rest of the league over a full season, it would give the Jets the 12th highest percentage of drives that end in scores. The average White drive has generated 35.7 yards. That would rate fifth best in the NFL.
Under the other three quarterbacks, the Jets have only scored on 29.2% of drives. That rates 29th in the NFL. The average drive only goes for 26 yards, which would rate 30th in the league.
Obviously there is a lot of nuance to this. The quarterback is but one variable when we talk about something as complex as team offensive performance over the course of a full season. There are ten other players and eleven defender on the field who have an impact. White’s season also has a small sample size, and he has taken an inordinate number of snaps when the Jets have been behind in the second half playing against defenses content to give up yardage in exchange for letting time run. This likely accounts partially for the robust yardage totals. Do I believe the Jets have been the fifth most productive offense in the league under White? I do not.
I do, however, think the offense has functioned at a higher level with White at quarterback than any of the other signal callers. When White has been under center, it has been functional. For the most part, it has not been functional with Zach Wilson or Joe Flacco.
Time will tell what is to come, but the numbers back the general consensus that Mike White is the best option for now.