The Jets suffered their second double-digit loss in three weeks Thursday night.
The Jets had high hopes coming off a huge Week 8 win.
Then they had them thrown into Indianapolis’ White River.
It was supposed to be Mike White Night. The Jets’ primary backup quarterback had thrown for 405 yards and three touchdowns in his inaugural NFL start against the Bengals last Sunday. One more impressive performance against the Colts in Week 9 would’ve potentially led to a quarterback controversy in Florham Park.
But Thursday night’s matchup couldn’t have ended quicker — it felt like somewhat of a slow death for Robert Saleh‘s young squad, which suffered a 45-30 defeat.
Down goes White
The Week 9 chapter of the Mike White tenure concluded prematurely. The young signal-caller suffered a forearm injury on a first-quarter touchdown pass to rookie Elijah Moore. It was Moore’s first touchdown reception in the NFL.
Before you knew it, White was subsequently in the medical tent, Josh Johnson prepared to enter the matchup, and the rest was history. Johnson finished the game and the injury potentially ended White’s tenure as the team’s starting quarterback should Zach Wilson return in Week 10 following his bout with a PCL sprain.
If Wilson isn’t ready to play against the Bills next Sunday afternoon, it’s unclear if White will be healthy and/or return to the starting lineup or if the Jets will roll with either Johnson or veteran Joe Flacco. Johnson did impress against Indy and finished the game with 317 yards, three touchdowns, and one interception on 27-of-41 passing.
The Mike White reign in Florham Park may end up being as short-lived as some originally anticipated.
Another defensive catastrophe
It was just a few games ago when the Jets allowed 551 yards and 54 points against the division-rival Patriots, who were led by rookie quarterback Mac Jones.
It was just a few days ago when the Jets allowed the Bengals to score 31 points.
On Thursday night, this defense struck again, and not in a good way. Robert Saleh and Jeff Ulbrich’s unit made Colts running back Jonathan Taylor look like 2006 LaDainian Tomlinson and Carson Wentz look like another Colts quarterback, but one that donned No. 18.
It was almost as if the Colts were playing with three extra guys and the referees just never noticed; it was a forgettable night for this 11-man Jets unit, which is saying something considering the disasters it has succumbed to in recent weeks.
The Colts ultimately concluded the game with a whopping 532 total yards, 260 of which were on the ground. Taylor rushed for 172 yards and two touchdowns while Nyheim Hines ran for 74 yards and one score.
ESPN’s Rich Cimini introduced one of the more eye-popping statistics I’ve seen since I started watching, following, and covering the NFL. The stat is so fitting for the current state of this Gang Green defense.
The Colts rushed for 134 yards in the 1st half, with 104 gained before first contact. That's an average of 6.1 yards per rush before contact.
That's unheard of. #Jets
— Rich Cimini (@RichCimini) November 5, 2021
That means one thing: the front seven did a horrific job executing the game plan against Taylor, Hines, and this Indianapolis front. It wasn’t a missed tackle issue, but rather an issue of just not being able to shed blocks on various occasions.
As for the air attack, Wentz threw for 272 yards and three touchdowns and only recorded eight incompletions — it felt like Peyton Manning made a return to Naptown.
The 2-6 Jets now have over a week to prepare for Josh Allen, Brian Daboll, and the Bills offense — they may need a month if we’re being realistic.
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