How bad was Zach Wilson? The Jets have an actual passing game without him!

With quarterback Zach Wilson on the bench, and journeyman Mike White on the field, the New York Jets have a credible passing game.

Nobody could blame the New York Jets for benching Zach Wilson, the second overall pick in the 2021 draft, after Wilson failed on the field last Sunday against the New England Patriots, and failed again off the field when he refused to take responsibility for his awful performance. In Wilson’s place, head coach Robert Saleh installed Mike White, the journeyman from South Florida and Western Kentucky selected in the fifth round of the 2018 draft by the Dallas Cowboys, and who never started a regular-season game until last season for the Jets.

In the first half of the Jets’ Sunday game against the Chicago Bears, White completed 16 of 20 passes for 235 yards, two touchdowns, no interceptions, and a passer rating of 149.0. That represents more passing yards (231), touchdown passes (one) than Wilson had in his last two games… combined.

Rookie receiver Garrett Wilson, who had quite a bit to say about his former quarterback, seems to be pretty happy with the change.

The Jets were up 17-10 at the half. With their great defense, a credible quarterback, and a 6-4 record, they could be a serious threat in the AFC playoff race.

As for Zach Wilson… well, he might want to get comfortable on the bench.

Watch: Mike White and Garrett Wilson connect for 2nd time

Second touchdown of the day for Garrett Wilson.

Make that two touchdown connections for Mike White and Garrett Wilson against the Bears. White hit Wilson in stride and Wilson went 55 yards to put the Jets up 14-10.

One storyline from that play to watch now is Bears safety Eddie Jackson went down with a leg injury and had to be helped off the field. The Bears are already without defensive backs Jaquan Brisker and Kyler Gordon.

White is now 12/16 for 198 yards and two touchdowns. Wilson has four catches for 86 yards and the two scores.

Watch: Mike White finishes strong first drive with touchdown to Garrett Wilson

Mike White to Garrett Wilson for an opening-drive touchdown

That was about as great of a first drive as you could ask for from the Jets, especially after making a switch at quarterback.

The offense looks quicker and crisper, Mike White is already 6/7 in passing and has a touchdown to Garrett Wilson to give the Jets a 7-0 lead early in Week 12.

Even Zonovan Knight had two touches on the opening drive.

Check out Wilson’s touchdown grab:

5 Bold predictions for Bears vs. Jets

From Justin Fields’ status to his old college teammate Garrett Wilson having a career day, here’s our bold predictions for Bears vs. Jets.

The Chicago Bears return to the east coast for the final time this season when they get set to take on the New York Jets at the Meadowlands. The Bears (3-8) are coming off their fourth loss in a row after dropping a close one to the Atlanta Falcons in Week 11. The Jets (6-4) are also reeling, losing a heartbreaker to the New England Patriots and are looking to get back on track to stay in the playoff hunt.

These two teams will probably look much different than what everyone thought they would be just a week ago. A matchup that was set to feature two of the top quarterbacks from the 2022 NFL Draft might be all for not. Zach Wilson was benched after a poor performance was made worse with a terrible press conference. Fields, on the other hand, has been tearing up the league in recent weeks but a shoulder injury could keep him out. But it’s going to take a lot to keep Fields off the field and his status ties into this week’s bold predictions.

Six points with David Dorey

Friday’s quick look at six fantasy items to know

We got past Thanksgiving with no upsets but closer than expected games.  The Lions are better than in recent seasons – no argument. And the Bills are no longer paving over every opponent. The Vikings got back on the Winning Wagon but not before the Patriots made them work for it. The Cowboys pulled away in the second half over the Giants, but it was close for a while.

Now we move into Week 12 weekend with fantasy playoffs looming and every game, and every fantasy point could be the difference in reaching the league playoffs or looking for something to worry about in December.

Six items for this weekend:

1.) Playoff Defenses – Unless you are in an 8-team league with rosters of just ten players, your waiver has to be little more than players that are either on injured reserve, the “not happenings”, or the hot starters that are back under a rock. But – defenses are still likely there since most fantasy teams will stick with one for the season. Do not do that for the playoffs, you always need options. Yes, entire defenses do not get injured, but enough of  their key players can make a difference, or their offense falls apart and the defense plays in less advantageous situations. Or maybe, you may have a really bad matchup in Weeks 15 to 17 worth covering.

This table shows the average of the strength of schedule (SOS) tool output for projected fantasy points using what opponents allow on average to opposing defenses for Weeks 15 to 17 and three-week sum of what defenses have been scoring. In essence, how good they are and how good their schedule is combined.

Check individual weekly matchups if you want to mix and match defenses, but the above shows which defenses are best situated to perform well in the playoff weeks.

2.)  Playoff kickers – Same deal as the defenses above, these are the kickers with the most favorable output combining their weekly average and what the strength of schedule (SOS) took says about what Weeks 15 to 17 average out to be for their unique schedule.

You should always carry two kickers into the playoffs, even if you never use the second kicker. The above kickers have the best outlook.

3.)  QB Mike White (NYJ) – The Jets opened the season with Joe Flacco for three weeks, and he never passed for fewer than 285 yards, totaled five touchdowns, used Elijah Moore for a dozen catches and let Garrett Wilson start his career with a bang. But when they finally decided that they had enough of Zach Wilson and the Yips, they opted to start former 2018 fifth-round pick Mike White instead of Flacco.

White has four career starts – all last year. He famously threw for 405 yards and three scores in an upset of the Bengals. His final start had him pass for 251 yards and four interceptions. Garrett Wilson impressed regardless of the quarterback, but he was far more consistently productive with Flacco than Wilson. And Elijah Moore started the year with some fantasy value that disappeared once Wilson took over this year. White isn’t guaranteed anything more than a chance to start this week. He realizes just how important this opportunity is.

4.) QB Kyle Allen (HOU) – The Texans have switched from the once-promising Davis Mills to Kyle Allen who will debut on Sunday at the Dolphins. Allen has appeared in 21 games and the bulk of his career work was in 2019, when he started 12 games for the Panthers and threw 17 touchdowns against 16 interceptions. That was the breakout year for Christian McCaffrey and D.J. Moore,  who broke 100 yards in four games and finished with 87 catches for 1,175 yards. He was much better with D.J. Moore than Mills has been with Brandin Cooks.

He’ll face the Dolphins, so chances are high that the Texans will fall behind and need to pass. And there could be plenty of trash time at the end of the game. Both Cooks and Nico Collins disappointed after much better production last season. Allen gets a chance to renew his career.

5.) QB Matt Stafford (LAR) –  He won a Super Bowl last year. Nine months later, Stafford is on his second concussion in three weeks and there is speculation that he may retire early. He’s 35 years old and may be at that point where future health outweighs everything. The Rams have lost Cooper Kupp, which guts the receivers. Bryce Perkins was expected to start this week against the Chiefs but Wolford  was estimated to have a full practice on Thursday and may be over his neck injury.

Wolford started in Week 10 covering for Stafford after his first concussion and his only notable connection was with Tyler Higbee (8-73). Regardless of  which quarterback starts, the Rams will need to throw the ball more  and more as the game progresses. There is still some fantasy value left behind after Cooper Kupp left. And with Stafford looking very questionable for the rest of the season, Wolford is the only most likely to direct the Rams offense. The rest of their season starts this week.

6.)  RB Rachaad White (TB) – The fantasy world (or, more appropriately, the Rachaad White fantasy owners) wants to see White get a chance to take away at least most of the work  from Leonard Fournette as he’s been more productive lately. Fournette injured his hip during the game in Munich, Germany after running for 57 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries by the middle of the third quarter. White went on to gain 105 yards on 22 carries but never had a target.

HC Todd Bowles said this week that the team would ride the hot hand between Fournette and White. If Fournette remains bothered by his hip, this could look great for White playing at the No. 31 defense versus running backs (Cleveland). It is worth tracking this week, and White could buy more use in later games with this soft matchup. But the Buccaneers have a lot of money invested in Fournette who has an inescapable cap hit of $8.5 million next year. “Riding the hot hand” this week alone likely won’t create any lasting effects if White excels, regardless of what Twitter fires it may start.

4 Jets players to watch vs. the Bears

Zach Wilson may not be playing this weekend, but here are the Jets players we’ll be watching when they face the Bears.

The Chicago Bears make their second trip out to New Jersey this season when they take on the New York Jets in Week 12. The Bears (3-8) are reeling after another close loss, this time to the Atlanta Falcons, in which they fell short right at the end. The Jets (6-4) meanwhile could be on the verge of unravelling as they’re dealing with a quarterback issue following their last-second loss to the New England Patriots.

A week ago, it was a lock that we would see second-year quarterbacks Justin Fields and Zach Wilson start for the Bears and Jets, respectively. But with Fields dealing with a shoulder injury and Wilson getting benched, it doesn’t seem likely we’ll see either of them. Here are five players that should be watched, however, when the game kicks off.

4 Jets players to watch vs. the Bears

Zach Wilson may not be playing this weekend, but here are the Jets players we’ll be watching when they face the Bears.

The Chicago Bears make their second trip out to New Jersey this season when they take on the New York Jets in Week 12. The Bears (3-8) are reeling after another close loss, this time to the Atlanta Falcons, in which they fell short right at the end. The Jets (6-4) meanwhile could be on the verge of unravelling as they’re dealing with a quarterback issue following their last-second loss to the New England Patriots.

A week ago, it was a lock that we would see second-year quarterbacks Justin Fields and Zach Wilson start for the Bears and Jets, respectively. But with Fields dealing with a shoulder injury and Wilson getting benched, it doesn’t seem likely we’ll see either of them. Here are five players that should be watched, however, when the game kicks off.

Garrett Wilson says coaches need to put more trust in receiver room

Garrett Wilson very frustrated after Sunday’s loss.

Are the Jets on their way to a third unhappy receiver this season? Maybe not to the level that Denzel Mims and Elijah Moore were at but Garrett Wilson certainly was frustrated with the offense in Sunday’s 10-3 loss to the New England Patriots.

Wilson feels he and the rest of the Jets’ wide receivers aren’t getting enough chances to make plays and that the coaches need to put more trust in them.

Wilson also expressed major frustration with the offense. “This (expletive) is not ok,” he said. “Straight up, is it not ok. How many total yards did we have? That (expletive) is not going to fly. We got the dudes. It’s time to be consistent. It’s time to win the games we should win.”

“It is unacceptable,” Wilson added. “No one wants to feel like this but that’s not enough. You’ve got to do something about it. I feel this is a wake up for some of the people in the facility. For us in the facility to get on our details.”

Wilson caught two passes in the loss to the Patriots for 12 yards on a day where the Jets had just 77 passing yards and 103 total yards of offense.

Wilson didn’t express anyone by name, but this is one of those “tell me who you’re upset with without telling me who you’re upset with” deals. It doesn’t take too much to figure out who he wants to point the finger at, and it’s not at himself.

The Jets have talent at the wide receiver position and Sunday would have been a good day for that talent to shine because the Jets couldn’t run the football at all (59 rushing yards). Unfortunately, Zach Wilson had more than enough trouble getting the ball to his receivers, limiting their potential and leading to just three points in the game before the back-breaking punt return by Marcus Jones.

Sauce Gardner ranked top rookie by ESPN, Garrett Wilson also in top ten

Sauce Gardner is the top rookie in the league at the halfway point of the season, as voted by ESPN.

It’s no secret Jets rookie cornerback Sauce Gardner has been not only among the best rookies in the NFL this season, but of the best cornerbacks overall in the NFL.

So it should come as no surprise that in their first set of rookie rankings, ESPN placed Gardner right at the top of their list.

Why he’s here: Gardner had a bit of a learning-curve moment on Sunday when he allowed a 42-yard reception to Bills receiver Stefon Diggs on Buffalo’s first play from scrimmage. But then he did what he has done all season — settle in and do quality work, including hauling in his second interception of the season. His completion percentage against over expectation is minus-10.1%, per NFL Next Gen Stats. — Jeff Legwold

Going forward: He might have gotten off to a slow start to the season, but he has since emerged as not just the best rookie cornerback but also one of the NFL’s best cornerbacks in general. Look for more of the same the rest of the way as Gardner continues to get acclimated to the pro game. He could finish 2022 as one of the top five corners in the NFL and is certainly a Pro Bowl candidate. — Matt Miller

Gardner isn’t the only Jets rookie in their top ten, either. He’s got some company in wide receiver Garrett Wilson.

Why he’s here: A prime target in New York’s defined pass game, Wilson is a sudden mover with dynamic playmaking traits. And his recent run of production shows his ability to work all three levels of the route tree. He trails only Green Bay’s Romeo Doubs among rookie wide receivers with 4.7 yards after the catch per reception, and he has picked up 25 first downs. — Matt Bowen

Going forward: Quarterback Zach Wilson has been inconsistent since returning from injury, but his rookie wideout is already one of his favorite targets. Garrett Wilson’s 68 targets trail only Olave among rookies (35 of which came from Zach Wilson). Finding the end zone is the next step of his development, but the yards are already coming in bunches for the Ohio State product. — Jordan Reid

And despite suffering a season-ending injury, running back Breece Hall also received votes for this list. Needless to say, the folks at ESPN are very impressed with the Jets’ rookie class. It’s hard not to be.

How did these former Ohio State offensive players do Week 9 in the NFL?

How did these former Ohio State offensive players do Week 9 in the NFL? #GoBucks #NFL

As the Ohio State Buckeyes enter the week against the Indiana Hoosiers, it is fun to sit back and watch how former Ohio State players wreck it in the National Football League. We are incredibly blessed to be Buckeye fans because there are so many talented players that we enjoy on Thursday, Sunday and Monday after watching current Ohio State players on Saturday.

The list of former Buckeyes is so large we have to split this list into offense and defense. Here are the former offensive Ohio State football players who made a splash during Week 9 of the NFL. Some of these names have been on this before, but some may surprise you.