Joe Benigno

Hopes were high for the Jets entering the 2022 season. But the team is off to a disastrous start.

Quarterback Zach Wilson is out until at least Week 4 with a knee injury, starting left tackle Duane Brown is on injured reserve with a shoulder ailment, and 2020 first-round tackle Mekhi Becton is out for the year after injuring his knee in training camp.

Sunday didn’t provide much faith, either. The Jets dropped their season-opener to the Ravens by a score of 24-9 with temporary starter Joe Flacco failing to develop consistent rhythm within the offense.

During the game, the MetLife Stadium crowd was chanting for Mike White, the team’s current second-string quarterback, to replace Flacco. On Monday morning, WFAN legend Joe Benigno echoed that sentiment and believes there’s a legitimate reason why White hasn’t gotten the nod.

“How much longer until Wilson comes back do we have to see this statue, Joe Flacco, quarterbacking? Where the hell is Mike White? Can we see Mike White play? Mike White played [arguably] the best game any Jet quarterback has played in a decade…and he has more wins as a [Jets] starter than Flacco does. Flacco has never won a game as a starter for the Jets,” Benigno ranted during his new weekly spot on WFAN’s “Tiki & Tierney” midday program.

“White has mobility and they never gave him a fair shot. And I think the only reason this kid isn’t playing is because they’re afraid he’s better than Wilson.”

Well…that’s an interesting claim.

It’s tough to believe White is the superior option to Wilson. Because he isn’t, even if the primary backup did throw for 405 yards and three touchdowns in a big win over the Bengals, the eventual 2021 AFC Champions, last season when Wilson missed time due to injury. Don’t forget: White fell back to earth just a few weeks later when he threw four interceptions in a blowout loss to the Bills.

There’s no way Joe Douglas and the Jets brass have more faith in a former fifth-round pick than they do in Wilson, who they just drafted No. 2 overall a year ago. They just think Flacco’s experience gives the Jets the better chance to win games until Wilson eventually returns.

While fans already chanting for White in Week 1 isn’t ideal, it’s only for him to temporarily replace Flacco. Let’s wait until the fans chant for White to replace Wilson — then the organization will truly have some issues.

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Ryan Honey is a staff writer and host of the Wide Right Podcast.