Vikings Must Worry about a Little Something Called ‘Mike White’
Not White Mike, but Mike White is the next item on the docket for the 2022 Minnesota Vikings. White replaced Zach Wilson as the New York Jets QB1 in Week 12, and the Vikings host the Jets next weekend.
Wilson, the second overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, played miserably in 2022, causing his demotion and inserting White into the mix for the [now] 7-4 Jets.
And the immediate result for New York was a masterclass, creaming the Chicago Bears 31-10 in East Rutherford on Sunday. With Wilson in the lineup before Week 12, the Jets tended to win in spite of Wilson. Versus Chicago, a team that has lost five straight games, New York won because of White.
White was a total maestro, diming 315 passing yards, 3 touchdowns, and no picks on 22 for 28 passing attempts. He was simply marvelous. In fact, White was the first Jets quarterback to pass for 3+ touchdowns with no interceptions in a game since 2018 (Sam Darnold).
The 27-year-old, 5th-Round product from Western Kentucky in the 2018 NFL Draft fired up a 149.3 passer rating and blistering 91.3 QBR. For a day, he was a Pro Bowler. His 149.3 passer rating was the fourth highest in team history, joining men like Joe Namath and Ken O’Brien.
When White sees the Vikings in a week, he’ll encounter a team with a depleted secondary, minus a starting cornerback in Cameron Dantzler and 1st-Rounder safety Lewis Cine. The Vikings defense has defiantly showcased a bend-don’t-break strategy in 2022, most recently displayed versus the Patriots when Mac Jones looked like a worldbeater.
Jones started a handful of games for New York in 2021, too. He flung over 400 passing yards in a game against the eventual Super Bowl runner-up Cincinnati Bengals, with 3 passing touchdowns in that game as well. However, he soon turned back into a pumpkin and was benched a couple of weeks later, after a 4-interception performance versus the Buffalo Bills in Week 9.
The Vikings rank 19th in passing defense DVOA through 11 games, so the next week is a waiting game to determine if Minnesota experiences hotshot Mike White or the guy who was a QB3-type from 2018 to 2021.
White’s Jets are early three-point underdogs for their trip to Minneapolis.
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Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).
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