Mike White
Ed Mulholland | USA TODAY Sports

Jets quarterback Mike White returned to the starting lineup in last Sunday’s win over the Bears.

And for now, he’s here to stay.

The primary backup, with the inactive Zach Wilson looking on from the sidelines, threw for 315 yards and three touchdowns against Chicago. With the entire AFC East competitive, the game was a must-win. And White got the job done and the Jets’ receivers finally earned the quarterback play they’ve deserved.

But this Sunday, he’ll have another NFC North challenge, and a more significant one at that. The Jets travel to Minneapolis to face star wideout Justin Jefferson and the 9-2 Vikings.

With the Jets in third place in the division, 1.5 games back of the first-place Bills, and currently owning head-to-head tiebreakers with Buffalo and the second-place Dolphins, Gang Green could use another huge win this Sunday.

Is White up to the daunting task?

Jets at Vikings

When: Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022
Where: U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, MN
Time: 1:00 p.m. ET
Radio: ESPN Radio New York 98.7 FM

Keys to victory

Take pressure off White. While White seems to be a better fit for this offense than Wilson, the Jets still must take pressure off him by running the football. Expect the running back committee to assume a big role to provide White with play-action opportunities.

Strong WR play. But for White to succeed, he’ll need the assistance of his reliable receivers. Rookie Garrett Wilson and Co. must take advantage of Minnesota’s weak secondary and provide White with clear passing lanes throughout the afternoon.

Strong DB play. The Vikings are manned by a dominant passing game (seventh in the NFL with 240.9 yards per game) that includes Jefferson and quarterback Kirk Cousins. In order for the Jets to notch the victory, they’ll need strong play from cornerbacks Sauce Gardner, D.J. Reed, and the rest of the secondary.


Quinnen Williams.

The young, talented defensive tackle needs to lead this promising Jets pass rush to a huge performance. Getting in the face of Cousins on a consistent basis could force the veteran quarterback to make mistakes.

Did you know?

The Jets have only lost to the Vikings three times in over 50 years.

That’s right — since the two teams faced for the first time in 1970, the Jets are 8-3 overall in the series.

However, New York hasn’t beaten Minnesota in 12 years and has lost the last two meetings (a 20-point defeat in 2018 and an overtime loss in 2014).

The pick

The Jets may have an answer (at least temporarily) at the quarterback position. In last Sunday’s win, White threw for 315 yards and three touchdowns and the Jets actually found some offensive success.

Expect that to be the same this Sunday.

While the Vikings are one of the top teams in the NFL at 9-2, they’re allowing 114.6 rushing yards per game. The Jets’ running back committee, led by second-year man Michael Carter, could exploit this and provide opportunities for White in the play-action game.

If White just takes care of the football, this game plan should take pressure off a talented Jets defense that must face a productive Minnesota offense (340.3 yards, 23.8 points per game).

If the Jets construct long scoring drives to keep the Vikings’ offense off the field, expect them to pull off the win. Jets 24, Vikings 20.

Listen to ESNY’s Wide Right Podcast on Apple or Spotify.

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