Mike White
Ed Mulholland | USA TODAY Sports

The Jets made the White move.

Backup quarterback Mike White starred in his first start after replacing the embattled Zach Wilson on Sunday. He threw for 315 yards and three touchdowns as the Jets rolled past the banged-up Bears, 31-10, at rainy MetLife Stadium.

The desperately-needed win pushes the Jets’ record to 7-4 and keeps them in an AFC wild card spot with six weeks to go in the regular season. They still have some work to do. They have already lost the tiebreakers to the two teams immediately behind them (the Bengals and Patriots) and they are about to play back-to-back road games at the Vikings and Bills.

But White — at least for a day — gave them exactly what they needed: Competent quarterback play to complement an elite defense. And that could be a fruitful formula down the stretch.

The Bears (3-9) were without starting quarterback Justin Fields. And they almost lost backup Trevor Siemian to a pregame warmup injury scare. Siemian put together a few good drives early and Chicago led in the second quarter. But the Jets’ defense took over from there as they rattled off 21 unanswered points to run away with it.

White completed 22-of-28 passes (78.6%) and finished with a passer rating of 149.3. A perfect rating is 158.3. First-round pick Garrett Wilson hauled in five catches for 95 yards and two scores. Elijah Moore had two grabs for 64 yards and a score and the rushing attack racked up 158 yards on the ground with Zonovan Knight (69 yards) and Ty Johnson (62 yards, touchdown) leading the way. Linebacker C.J. Mosley keyed the defense with 10 tackles.

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James Kratch can be reached at james.kratch@xlmedia.com

James Kratch is the managing editor of ESNY. He previously worked as a Rutgers and Giants (and Mike Francesa) beat reporter for NJ Advance Media.