Mike White had the Colts’ defense right where he wanted them.
On a dismal night, the Jets’ offense had some bright spots.
He neatly orchestrated an eight-play, 75-yard drive that culminated with a 19-yard touchdown pass that tied the game at 7-7 with 3:32 left in the first quarter. A play earlier, White delivered a perfect ball down the right sideline to Moore for a 26-yard gain.
White had completed 7 of 11 passes for 95 yards and had a quarterback rating of 121.4. Initially, it looked like a shootout game with Carson Wentz.
It was his third consecutive game in which White showed that he belonged, the run that began in his relief of Zach Wilson against New England.
Well, we all know what happened to White, and the Jets were snakebit again. Their offense, however, didn’t disappear.
Their defense, however, didn’t show up.
The unit that effectively caged Bengals’ quarterback Joe Burrow a week ago, reverted back their listless effort against New England in which they gave up 551 in a 54-13 blowout. This time around in the 45-30 loss, the Jets’ D allowed 532 yards.
By halftime, the Jets were down 28-10, and the game was over.
On the surface, there were little positives if any from their overall pathetic performance.
But White has given the Jets a viable second option they haven’t had in years. He has turned out to be their best kept secret and possibly their top newcomer of the year.
The Jets also discovered that 35-year-old, 13-team veteran Josh Johnson still has something left in his tank.
Even though he collected most of his 317 yards and three touchdown passes in garbage time,
Johnson played with a determined intensity that was constant throughout his performance, most visibly evident where he encouraged and rallied his teammates late in the game when the team began to rall, and when a tipped pass was intercepted to halt a drive that could have brought the Jets to within a touchdown with less than two minutes left.
Rookie running back Michael Carter, whose stock has been rising, had only 49 yards, but his options were limited because the Jets were playing from behind. Ty Johnson showed some flash to help provide depth at the position.
For the season, Carter has 328 yards rushing and 263 receiving, but more importantly, he has 229 yards rushing and 215 yard receiving over his last five games.
As for Moore, he finished with seven catches for 84 yards and caught another touchdown from Johnson. In the past two weeks, Moore has 14 catches for 141 yards, and he certainly has the talent to be a gamechanger in the second half of the season.
The offensive line, with rookie Alijah Vera-Tucker starting at left guard, gains more cohesion with each passing week, even though they have given up 24 sacks.
Don’t get me wrong. This is a 2-6 Jets team that has plenty to patch. The reality of it has set in, and it could be a long second half.
But White, Carter, and Moore give the Jets a youthful trio that can make a difference.