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The Recent York Jets will put the win-now focus of Coach Robert Saleh’s quarterback switch to the test because the ultra-competitive race within the AFC East comes into sharp deal with the Sunday of Week 12 of the NFL season.
Mike White starts for the Jets, who host the Chicago Bears in an early afternoon game within the Meadowlands, after Saleh decided last week to bench second-year quarterback Zach Wilson.
The move by Saleh was a curious mixture of stunning, based on the big-picture perspective, and inevitable, given the recent developments leading as much as the move.
The shocking part stems from the indisputable fact that the Jets are, in effect, giving up on Wilson only 20 starts into his NFL profession after making him the No. 2 overall selection in last yr’s draft. Saleh insisted last week that wasn’t the case, saying that Wilson will get one other opportunity.
Nevertheless it doesn’t matter here what’s being said. It matters what’s being done. The Jets are benching the player drafted to be their franchise quarterback. For Wilson, it’s possible there will probably be no getting back from this — at the least not with this organization.
Yet by the point Saleh made his midweek announcement, the move must have come as a surprise to nobody. Wilson had only nine completions and 77 passing yards in last Sunday’s 10-3 loss to the Recent England Patriots in Foxborough, Mass. It was his second straight dreadful outing against the Patriots. His immaturity showed when he was asked by reporters after the sport whether the team’s offense had let down its defense and answered no. Such an absence of accountability by a quarterback doesn’t go over well in an NFL locker room.
With a record of 6-4, the Jets are within the thick of the AFC playoff chase even with the dearth of production they’ve gotten at quarterback. They’re ranked ninth in total defense. The remainder of the roster is able to win and contend. That was the fragile balancing act that Saleh and the Jets needed to perform. They opted to favor here-and-now considerations over the event of their young quarterback.
White will make his fourth profession NFL start and is to be backed up by veteran Joe Flacco.
Every team within the AFC East stays above .500 even after the Patriots’ loss Thursday night at Minnesota. The Buffalo Bills lead the division by a half-game after their Thanksgiving Day victory at Detroit.
The Miami Dolphins can move back into the AFC East lead with a triumph Sunday at home over the lowly Houston Texans. The Dolphins return from their bye for what amounts to a gimme game against the Texans, who made a quarterback switch of their very own last week and can start Kyle Allen. Coach Lovie Smith benched second-year pro Davis Mills.
The Dolphins would match the Bills at 8-3 with a victory over the Texans. They hold the tiebreaker advantage after beating Buffalo in September. Miami is 7-0 this season in games that quarterback Tua Tagovailoa has began and finished.