Mike White balling as NY Jets lead Bears at the half, 17-10

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By: Geoff Magliocchetti

Jets fans have made it clear: they like Mike.

With chants of “Mike White” guiding the New York Jets through the rain and fog, the next No. 2 jerseys that show up in the MetLife Stadium stands may bear the name of Nick Folk rather than Zach Wilson’s.

Behind 235 yards and two scores from White, back under New York center in the wake of Wilson’s healthy scratching, the Jets have built a 17-10 lead over the Chicago Bears at halftime of their interconference showdown.

What can we gather from the first half?

Jets (17)

  • PASSING: Mike White (16-of-20, 235 yards, 2 TD)
  • RUSHING: Michael Carter (5 carries, 17 yards)
  • RECEIVING: Garrett Wilson (4 rec., 86 yards)

Bears (10)

  • PASSING: Trevor Siemian (8-of-11, 127 yards, 1 TD)
  • RUSHING: David Montgomery (6 carries, 18 yards)
  • RECEIVING: Chase Claypool (2 rec. 51 yards)

The White Stuff

Obviously, the ultimate test for Mike White will be whether his flashes are sustainable and consistent. But there’s no doubt that the Jets’ offense has found a spark in the sequel to his MetLife Stadium Halloween spectacular. The expected big-play names (namely Garrett Wilson and Elijah Moore) are getting involved in the offense and the unit has found a rhythm. Barring injury, White might’ve already earned himself starting duties for the rest of the season. Whether that says more about the Jets’ quarterback situation or White himself is another conversation entirely, but it’s clear that White isn’t ready to let his mythical status die just yet.

Special In Name Only

There’s no doubt that special teams coordinator Brant Boyer has made a name for himself amongst the Jets faithful: he survived the respective purges of Todd Bowles and Adam Gase’s staffs for a reason. But another goofy moment ensued when the Jets tried to know the game with a Greg Zuerlein field goal, namely a hot potato relay that began when Braden Mann botched the hold. With that coming a week after the heartbreaking ending against New England, the Jets need to shore up their specialists.

The immediate follow-up to Marcus Jones’ 84-yard run to glory was a 12-yard return for Dante Pettis, one that led to the Bears’ only touchdown. Boyer’s boys did go into the locker room on the right note, as Zuerlein’s booted a 57-yard bomb that made it through the precipitation with ease.

Sauce vs. Siemian

This game didn’t become a (Nathan) Peterman as promised, but Justin Field replacement Trevor Siemian hasn’t been afraid to test Sauce Gardner in the early going. Gardner has responded well, notably breaking up a would-be touchdown to Claypool that forced Chicago into a field goal on its opening drive. However, Sauce did allow a 31-yard reception to Claypool on which he was also called for pass interference. Time will tell just how many risks Siemian, more or less blessed with absolutely nothing to lose, is willing to take, but Gardner and D.J. Reed will have to be ready.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

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