Date: 30/11/2022
Author: Callum Insull


Having not made the play-offs since 2010, the New York Jets are well and truly in the mix of things as December approaches.


Losing in Foxborough against the New England Patriots was tough when the team was riding a wave having defeated the Buffalo Bills at MetLife in the previous game. Head Coach Robert Saleh switched quarterbacks and gave Mike White the start against Chicago, and it certainly paid off.


The Jets were triumphant, 31-10 and White led the team to the win with a second sterling performance in the stealth black uniforms. Last season, White came in for the injured Zach Wilson and guided the Jets to a 34-31 win over the Cincinnati Bengals on Halloween and produced a similar ‘hero ball’ performance this past Sunday.


The win wasn’t a surprise. The Jets knew that if they were to receive competent play from White under centre then they’d be well on their way to a win and especially against a struggling Bears team, it was a good day for New York.


White will be given another start against Minnesota in the next game for Saleh’s men and it’s one he certainly deserves. As the Jets hit the road to take on the Vikings, who hold a strong record of 9-2, NYJ will be hoping to keep pushing up the rankings in the AFC playoff seeding as the team looks to be in the mix in December.


Being in the mix, in meaningful games and being seen as a relevant team in the month of December is something the Jets haven’t been used to for a while. Before the season started, fans of NYJ would have been happy with six or seven wins as a respectful record, seeing progression for their young team and coaching staff but Saleh’s side are ahead of schedule and have been a force to be reckoned with so far in 2022.


A lot of why they’re ahead of schedule is down to Jeff Ulbrich and the defence. With the likes of Quinnen Williams, Carl Lawson, CJ Mosley and cornerback rookie, Sauce Gardner – the defence for the Jets has been nothing short of sensational.


As it stands, the Jets hold the seventh seed and would be travelling to division rivals Miami in the wildcard round of the play-offs. That will all but certainly change in the next six weeks but to be even thinking about that is something Jets fans are not used to.


It is imperative that the team stay ahead of the Patriots in the seeding, with them having a tiebreaker over the Jets having beaten them twice. So while Saleh gives White his shot under centre, the team must try and at least split results against both Minnesota and in the return game with the Bills.


If the Jets can be no worse than 8-5 by the time they face Detroit at MetLife in week 15 then fans would be confident of their chances of reaching the postseason.


Next up for the Jets is the trip to Minneapolis to face Minnesota at the US Bank Stadium and with Kevin O’Donnell’s side on fire, it will be a tough test for New York. Although, on the road this campaign the Jets have been fearless and lost just once so they will hope to get their eighth win of ’22 on Sunday.


An interesting storyline in the game, is not only that it’ll be the first time the teams have faced each other since 2018 but the fact that arguably the best wide receiver and best cornerback in the league will be coming up against each other. 

Jets rookie Sauce Gardner will be coming up against former LSU wideout Justin Jefferson who has been nothing short of electric this season. Gardner leads the Pro Bowl voting out of all AFC cornerbacks and deserves that accolade. He will be faced with his toughest task yet marking Jefferson this weekend.


Popcorn will well and truly be at the ready for that matchup but another exciting one is Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins, who will be trying to outwit the Jets defensive front, which ranks in the top five of the league for total sacks this season so far. Williams, John Franklin-Myers, Carl Lawson, Bryce Huff and rookies Michael Clemons and Jermaine Johnson will be out there to get to Cousins and stop him getting the ball out to Jefferson and co.

Albeit the Vikings have good playmakers, including Adam Thielen, Dalvin Cook and T.J Hockenson. However, their number 18 is the one to watch and take him out the game, the Jets will be in good stead to grab a win in the North Star State.

As another week of work begins for NYJ, the Jets will be getting ready to head off to Minnesota with the belief that they can bring home another road win and continue to be in the mix in December.


Let’s go Jets!