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Is Mike White the all-time best quarterback? The New York Jets hope so as they prepare to face the Indianapolis Colts on Thursday Night Football.
When White helped lead the Jets to a victory against the Cincinnati Bengals after a one-win season, he took the NFL by storm. This was the same Bengals club that had had thrashed the Baltimore Ravens a week ago. The same Bengals club that had grabbed the lead in the difficult AFC North, the same team that boasts Joe Burrow, a young up-and-coming great quarterback, and Ja’Marr Chase, a spectacular rookie wide receiver.
With rookie first-round selection Zach Wilson out with a knee injury, White just had to make his first NFL start and lead his Jets to a 34-31 victory against that club.
Is there any doubt that White is the greatest of all time? He clearly aspires to be.
Mike White, a quarterback with the New York Jets, publicly chastised Peyton Manning on Twitter.
Peyton Manning is likely the finest overall quarterback to ever play the game, according to everyone who understands anything about the NFL. Nobody commanded and knew the position like Manning. Tom Brady and Joe Montana have all the championships, and Aaron Rodgers may be the most physically talented player ever, but nobody commanded and understood it like Manning.
Manning, a 14-time Pro Bowler, seven-time All-Pro, five-time NFL MVP, and two-time Super Bowl winner, is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s class of 2021. In 17 seasons, he threw for 71,940 yards and 539 touchdowns.
Manning set several milestones throughout his NFL career, including the most passing yards and touchdowns in a season, which he still maintains. As a member of the Denver Broncos in 2013, he passed for 5,477 yards and 55 touchdowns. He also equaled Drew Brees for the greatest single-season throwing yardage average in NFL history with 342.3 yards per game.
There’s no denying that he’s an all-time great.
In light of this, White’s 2013 tweet regarding Manning seems to be pretty bold.
He tweeted, “One day, I’m going to smash your record.”
For the Jets, White is an unexpected hero.
White began his collegiate career at South Florida, but he eventually went to Western Kentucky, where he had strong seasons in 2016 and 2017. He led the No. 7 passing offense in college football his senior year, including an eight-game stretch of 300-yard passing games.
The Dallas Cowboys selected White in the fifth round of the 2018 draft, however he was discarded in 2019. He wound up on the Jets’ practice squad and seemed to be basically an afterthought until this season, when he was named Wilson’s backup.
Wilson, the No. 2 overall pick in this year’s draft, was hurt in the Jets’ 54-13 defeat to the New England Patriots, allowing White to see action. Against the Patriots, he completed 20 of 32 passes for 202 yards, one score, and two interceptions.
After all, White is a Hall of Famer.
Mike White of the New York Jets and Peyton Manning, the Hall of Fame quarterback | Jim McIsaac/Getty Images; Emilee Chinn/Getty Images
Against the Bengals, the story was completely different. White profited from a week of practice as the starter, completing 37-of-45 passes for an incredible 405 yards and three touchdowns. He did throw two more interceptions, but all selected passes were tipped by his receivers. It wasn’t all the quarterback’s fault.
White was 11-of-11 to open the game and ended with an 82.2 completion percentage and a passer rating of 107.9. With 7:24 remaining in the game, the Jets were behind 11 points. New York’s new QB idol didn’t care about the deficit.
White was instrumental in the comeback, and his performance was so spectacular that he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He had the most completions by a quarterback in their debut start, with 37. He also became just the second quarterback since 1950 to pass for 400 yards or more in his first game.
After all of this, White’s 2013 tweet has been confirmed in some ways.
Manning is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. White is now in the same boat.
Is Mike White the all-time best quarterback? On Thursday Night Football, he’ll have another opportunity to reach the Hall of Fame.
ESPN and Pro Football Reference provided the statistics.
RELATED: After his Hall of Fame performance, Mike White gets a new NSFW nickname from his running back: ‘He’s a Savage, He’s a Dog, He’s an Animal.’
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