The Week 13 loss suffered by the New York Jets was a crusher. In a tight competition for the playoffs, this was a game that was there for the taking that the Jets did not capitalize on.
At the most important position, though, after going over the tape, while it was not perfect for Mike White, there was once again much to be enthused about.
Before diving into some of his best throws from the day, it is worth noting that, for the most part, it was a good game overall by White. The required decision-making, poise, and, once again, toughness were all there predominately in this one. The few instances in which White did not execute well, it stemmed from some inaccuracies with his throws or not targeting opening receivers. However, there were some high-level, tight-window throws made with anticipation, which we will see below.
Let’s take a look at seven of the best throws made by White in Week 13.
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The first one here is one promising throw. The Jets operate from 11 personnel (1 running back, 1 tight end) with a 2×2 alignment.
Defensively, the Vikings rush four and drop into zone coverage (Cover 6).
At the top of your screen, Garrett Wilson does a great job of getting the boundary corner to open up, giving White a chance to make this elite throw. The cornerback is playing with outside shade, and Wilson knows he needs to beat him to the outside. When Wilson gets to the 42 yard-line, he gives a hard jab inside, getting the corner to commit, which allows him to work across him outside.
From there, White, on a deep drop, has time and a clean pocket to work from. He winds up before Wilson even breaks off his route. Working toward the tight side of the field near the sideline, White delivers an absolute, accurate strike and displays some impressive arm strength, fitting in this tight throw low and outside where only Wilson can get it.
The Jets operate from 11 personnel and 2×2 once again here. However, they leave both eligibles up top (Tyler Conklin and Corey Davis) in to block, leading to max protection and a two-man route.
This play design is a bit similar to the one White and Wilson connected on for a 54-yard touchdown in last week’s game against the Chicago Bears. They also get identical coverage (Cover 1), only this time, there is no hook-to-curl zone linebacker underneath Wilson’s route in White’s throwing lane.
Elijah Moore, in the slot, on the line of scrimmage, runs the clearout route and is open. Behind him t,hough, Wilson runs the dig route and yet again does a great job working against the leverage of the field-side corner. Wilson has to break in his route against a cornerback playing with inside shade.
Wilson gains the perfect amount of ground against the off cornerback (as shown when he breaks his route off at the 47, avoiding contact) while getting him to turn his hips, threatening him outside. As White hitches at the top of his deep drop, he reads Wilson working across the corner, steps into the throw, and places an accurate ball in-stride over the middle on the intermediate level of the field.
Another 2×2 set with three wide receivers. This time, the throw is out much quicker.
The Vikings rush five with a single-high safety and play man coverage across the board.
From the slot again, Moore runs the quick stop with Wilson on the in behind. With the linebacker (Eric Kendricks #54) reading James Robinson all the way, it creates a clear throwing lane White capitalizes on. The field corner is also way over the top and outside. The strong safety on CJ Uzomah, Harrison Smith (#22) is in the area. But at the depth of his five-step drop back, White sees it, winds up, and throws an accurate ball over the middle between him and the closing corner.
Splitting defenders on throws over the middle will be a theme on a few of the remaining clips.
The Jets dial up a routine play with just a slight wrinkle. They bring Uzomah on the jet motion and fake the counter OF run and call for the pop-pass over the middle against the flow of the defense. Except this time, to Wilson working from a wider alignment as opposed to the usual tight end on the end of the line of scrimmage.
What White does an exceptional job of here (from the end zone view) is deceiving the linebacker in the way (Kendricks) with his eyes. White knows he wants Wilson all the way but has to get the roaming Kendricks, originally playing the run fake, out of his throwing lane.
So, he initially looks outside (up top) to Denzel Mims. As you will see, it gets Kendricks to open up and maneuver just outside enough to where White can fit in this throw, again over the middle with defenders crashing from both sides.
Just some high-level stuff here from White, and it leads to Wilson taking off for 60.
On the fifth play below, Mike LaFleur moves the launch point here. Braxton Berrios comes on a jet motion, and the Jets fake the run in the other direction.
The Vikings are playing zone coverage (Tampa 2). Corey Davis (bottom) on the deep out/corner looks to be the primary read for White all the way. The split-safety near the bottom, Camryn Bynum, opens up his hips as he looks to be threatened by Davis vertically.
Davis does a good job of selling vertically before breaking off his route toward the sideline. White reads Bynum’s leverage and knows he will have Davis. Even with two rushers coming from behind, White stands tall, takes a hit, and delivers a perfect pass to Davis w,ho makes a terrific grab.
Play six of this review, the one everyone wants to see. Robert Saleh, on 4th & 10, with under four minutes to go and down by five, makes the call to go for it. White and Davis step up once again in a high-pressure situation.
The Jets operate from empty and White threads the needle over the middle on the intermediate level again.
Defensively, the Vikings send a fifth defender. They operate with a single-high safety and play man coverage across the board.
Thanks to the one deep safety, the field-side cornerback matched up with Davis is playing with outside leverage, making Davis’ in route easier. Davis does a good job of still stemming him outside (when he gets to about the 35 yard-line).
On a deep drop, White moves slightly to his right and throws this one with tons of anticipation. He winds up before Davis comes out of his break.
Once again, between two defenders, White throws a seed with some pressure coming down late. Davis does an exceptional job of using his body to box out and makes one tough snag.
As you can see from the end zone, White throws this one on an absolute line. One special throw.
The final play here comes on the Jets’ last drive of the day. White, again, layers a throw perfectly between defenders. This time, just outside the numbers near the sideline.
The Jets go empty in the backfield once more. Defensively, the Vikings are in zone (Cover 6). The Jets attack the single-high half of the field in the Cover 6 (up top).
At the top of your screen, White has to manipulate the boundary corner responsible for the curl-to-flat in the zone coverage.
White, again, uses his eyes to create a window and complete this throw to Wilson. He looks to Zonovan “Bam” Knight in the flat (end zone view) to hold the cornerback just enough.
With great anticipation, White throws a beautiful pass with touch between multiple defenders to Wilson on the deep out route.