The Buffalo Bills (5-3) face off against the New York Jets (2-6), which means they’ll play against backup quarterback Mike White for the first time ever, who’s starting in place of an injured Zach Wilson.
White’s debut as a starter happened just two weeks ago. The 26-year-old threw for 405 yards and three touchdown passes, leading the Jets to a big upset win over the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 8. The following week, White went 7-of-11 for 95 yards, a touchdown before a forearm injury knocked him out early.
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In White’s three appearances this season, including his relief role after Wilson suffered his knee injury against the New England Patriots, the former fifth-round pick from the 2018 NFL Draft has completed 72.7% of his passes for 702 yards with five touchdowns and four interceptions, as reported by Yahoo! Sports.
As for his recent, seemingly overnight stardom, White’s not surprised.
“I have 100 percent confidence in myself,” White said, as reported by NBC Sports. So if you ask me, I should have been a first overall pick. But that’s neither here nor there. That’s four years ago. I try to get my mind off that and be in the here and now and execute what my job is right now.”
White believes the NFL scouts got it all wrong by allowing him to drop so late in the draft. “I couldn’t tell you. That’s definitely the scouting departments across the league and what their interpretation of me is,” White said, was selected as the No. 171 overall pick by the Dallas Cowboys.
Bills safety Micah Hyde spoke about White’s high level of self-confidence prior to Sunday’s game, and the team’s defense is ready to take him back down to Earth.
“He’s decisive,” said Hyde, per Bills Wire. “He’s obviously knowing the playbook, knowing his reads, getting the ball out quick, and when you do that, you get the ball in your playmakers’ hands, you’re able to make some stuff happen.”
“But, yeah, you can just see he’s feeling confident right now, the team is confident with him, and it’s going to be a big challenge for us.”
Jordan Poyer Says Facing a New Starting QB Is More Difficult
While facing a backup quarterback White sounds like a favorable layup, Bills safety Jordan Poyer said it actually makes the defense’s job more difficult.
When it comes to shutting down a quarterback who’s only taken 143 snaps, there’s not a lot of film for the Bills’ defense to study.
“It can be pretty difficult,” Poyer said. “But it’s understanding who their playmakers are. They’ve got talented football players over there. It’s a team that’s hungry right now. A quarterback that won them a game and threw for quite a bit of yards in that game, too. Defensively we’re going to have our hands full. We have to play well.”
Bills QB Josh Allen Knows He Needs to Step Up Vs. Jets
After scoring zero touchdowns against the Jaguars, Josh Allen seems dialed in. “I’m just trying to be the best quarterback that I can be,” Allen said, per Bills Wire. “We’re 5-3, not where we want to be, so we got to turn our attention this week and go one week at a time and try to go 1-0 each week.”
“That’s been our mindset since we stepped on the field in training camp. We got to find ways to win football games and stack wins. It starts on Sunday against the Jets.”