Clock Strikes Midnight

On Sunday, the New York Jets ran into the wrong football team at the wrong time.
The Buffalo Bills were angry. They are pound for pound one of the most talented team in the AFC, and they were fresh off an embarrassing defeat at the hands of the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars.
And Buffalo took out a lot of that frustration on the New York Jets.
The Jets were overmatched in every element of the game: coaching, quarterback play, defense…you name it.
Sunday’s ugly loss is far more about the defense, that once again gave up 45 points for the second consecutive game and has looked terrible the last month. But narratives in the NFL always circle back to the quarterback position.
And on Sunday, the feel good story of backup QB Mike White came to a crashing halt. The clock struck midnight, and in this version of the Cinderella story the carriage turn into a pumpkin real quick.
White threw three interceptions and gave the Jets brass a pretty easy decision to go back to Zach Wilson whenever he is ready to play. But make no mistake, this was exactly how this storyline was going to play out.
Mike White may have confidence and be well liked in the locker room, but he was never going to get a fair chance to be the Jets starting quarterback.
The Jets drafted Zach Wilson with the second-overall pick. In case you’re wondering, there is a different set of criteria for second-overall picks compared to seventh-round picks.
Fair or unfair, that’s life in the NFL.
The dream of Mike White becoming the next Tom Brady or Kurt Warner may have turned into a nightmare on Sunday, but the focus for the remainder of the 2021 season goes back to what it was over the summer.
Will the Jets see enough from Zach Wilson between now and the end of the season to show that he can become a legitimate franchise quarterback for years to come? Wilson should have that opportunity on Sunday against the Miami Dolphins.
Mike White may turn out to have a terrific career as a backup quarterback in the NFL, but he joins the likes of Jeremy Lin, Shane Spencer and Mike Jacobs of New York one-hit sports wonders.

You can listen to my podcast New York, New York on The Ringer Podcast Network every Sunday, Tuesday & Thursday nights on Spotify & Apple Podcasts. 

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