Given the way the 2021 season has gone, this scoreline may not seem all that compelling but there were a few interesting storylines heading into the matchup.
- Cinderella story Mike White had one last opportunity to prove he could remain as the Jets starting quarterback with Zach Wilson sidelined.
- The Jets defense desperately needed to bounce back at home as they’d done in the past, after getting run over in Indianapolis.
- Buffalo appeared vulnerable after a loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 9.
In the end, none of these talking points went New York’s way, unless you’re a Wilson fan that was rooting against White. Don’t take our word for it though — the best and brightest of Jets Twitter reacted to the Week 10 defeat.
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Bills End White Fever
As quickly as White fever took hold of the City That Never Sleeps, the flame was seemingly extinguished on November 14. Here were some of the reactions from the media and the fanbase.
Beat reporter Connor Hughes wrote: “The Mike White run was fun. It’s now over. Zach Wilson will be back next week against the #Dolphins.”
Jets Podcaster Matt O’Leary added politely: “Zach Wilson next week plz.”
The Jet Press also gave their two cents on the subject: “Mike White is a good backup QB. That’s my takeaway from this stretch of games. Could he be more in the future? Possibly, he’s still relatively young. But this is Zach Wilson’s team. He will get his chance again next week.”
Jets X-Factor’s Michael Nania, who backed Wilson during his absence, admitted: “The White hype was a lot of fun, and he was legitimately really good against the Bengals, but I never got why people seemed so sold that he was a proven good QB because of one game.” He added: “Oh well, we move on as planned. Can be a good backup but this is Zach Wilson’s franchise.”
Jets X-Factor colleague Andrew Golden also backed the rookie in a response to David Wyatt-Hupton, who explained that White was forcing that ball late in the game. “AKA: the exact same situations Zach Wilson was in, and it ended in the same result. Really hope the fans bring the same [excitement] they had for Mike when Zach comes back next week.”
Finally, ESPN talk show host Jake Asman looked ahead to the future, now that Wilson should be back at the helm. He tweeted: “Zach Wilson will start next week and I’m looking forward to it. Wilson will benefit from booth Mike LaFleur and getting the chance to sit the last 3 games and watch how the offense has been run. The upcoming schedule has a bunch of winnable games for the Jets [pictured: Dolphins, Texans, Eagles, Saints, Dolphins, Jaguars].”
I’ll end with this GIF from DannyBoyBronx, captioned: “Everybody leaving the Mike White local to catch the Zach Wilson express.”
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Reactions to Robert Saleh’s Defense
Even though Jeff Ulbrich calls the plays, the Jets defense will always be Robert Saleh’s cross to bear since he was hired based on his track record on this side of the football. Fans have not been pleased with the recent 40-plus point losses and some are done tolerating the failure.
Glenn Naughton of Jets Nation tweeted: “Like a replay of last week. Robert Saleh’s rep as a defensive genius is fast slipping away.”
A fan under the handle “Sports and Stuff” added: “I’ve seen enough of Robert Saleh as a Head Coach. No more.”
Christa Levitas also questioned the Jets HC, stating: “I hate to be that Karen like fan but at what point do we question Robert Saleh’s scheme for this D? Our only bright spot is our young CB’s. Maybe it would be better with Carl Lawson. I get we are young/don’t have a lot of talent. But these type of performances are unacceptable.”
The jury is still out on Saleh, as well as Wilson and other members of this Jets core. It’s hard to evaluate a first-year coach or quarterback after half of a season and it’s even harder when you’re talking about the youngest roster in football. Having said that, this negative trend is certainly worrisome.
I’ll leave you with one positive take on the franchise from writer/blogger Roy L. Pickering Jr.: “Today kinda went about how I expected for the #Jets [to be honest]. I still believe in Robert Saleh. I still believe in Zach Wilson. I still believe that players & coaches will learn A LOT this season and come back much stronger next season where they’ll have a bunch of high draft picks.”