Tim Boyle #7 of the New York Jets warms up...

Tim Boyle #7 of the New York Jets warms up before a game against the Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, Oct. 15, 2023 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Credit: Jim McIsaac

The Jets’ season has gone terribly wrong and they’re turning to a mostly unheralded quarterback to fix things.

If this sounds familiar, it’s similar to what happened last year when the Jets benched Zach Wilson and gave Mike White the keys to the offense. Now White will be at MetLife Stadium on Friday, when the Jets hope that going from Wilson to Tim Boyle can produce another Mike White Moment.

The Jets are Boyle’s team now. They’re entrusting him to lead the offense — and essentially try to save their season — when they host the division-leading Miami Dolphins (7-3) in the NFL’s first Black Friday game.

It will be 691 days since the 29-year-old Boyle started an NFL game. His last one was Jan. 2, 2022, for Detroit. Boyle is 0-3 as a starter and has thrown three touchdown passes and nine interceptions in 18 games with the Packers, Lions, Bears and Jets, but he is brimming with confidence and belief in himself.

“You got to feel like you’re dangerous out there,” Boyle said. “You can’t go into a play or a series thinking with any doubt. Confidence is critical going in there and feeling like I’m the guy and I’m not going to miss. That’s kind of the focus.”

The Jets (4-6) have lost three straight and are desperate for a win that would help keep alive the hope that Aaron Rodgers will return.

Rodgers is rehabbing from a torn left Achilles and is targeting a return in late December. The Jets might need to be in the playoff race for that to happen. They’re tied for 13th in the AFC.

It’s up to you, Tim.

“I don’t have to be Superman out there,” Boyle said. “Just run the offense, take the completions they give me and just play within my game.”

That was White’s approach the two times he replaced Wilson. The first was in 2021 because of injury. White had a historic first NFL start in a win over Cincinnati, passing for 405 yards and three touchdowns (no one had ever thrown for 400 yards and three TDs in his debut before that). Last season, White came in for Wilson in Week 12 and threw for 315 yards and three scores to beat Chicago.

It’s a little different situation now. Wilson was hurting the team last season with his play and attitude, and the locker room turned against him. He’s matured, but his play hasn’t improved enough. Although the struggles are widespread, the Jets had to do something to jump-start their unsightly and unimaginably bad offense.

The Jets have scored one touchdown in their last three games and have a league-low nine all season. Trevor Siemian will be Boyle’s backup and Wilson will be the Jets’ No. 3/emergency quarterback.

“You feel for Zach but you’re also trying to give someone an opportunity,” tight end Tyler Conklin told Newsday. “I’m excited for Tim to get an opportunity. Hopefully, it’s the spark that we need as an offense.”

Robert Saleh said, “One person won’t change everything” and that everyone needs to be better.

“We all have to take part and try to find ways to get the offense to move,” Saleh said. “I know the guys will go out there and play their butts off, and we’ll see what happens.”

The Jets will be challenged on defense against the extremely talented and fast Dolphins.

Tua Tagovailoa is second in the NFL with 21 touchdown passes. Running back Raheem Mostert is second with 13 total touchdowns. Tyreek Hill leads receivers in yards (1,222) and touchdowns (nine).

“They got a style that shines every time they touch the grass,” defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich said. “We’re going to have to play really, really well.”

No doubt. The Jets also will need the offense to play better than it has all season. The Dolphins average 30.5 points per game, so the Jets need to score.

They have belief in Boyle, stemming from his knowledge of the system and his preparation. This is Boyle’s third year playing in Nathaniel Hackett’s offense.

Receiver Garrett Wilson said Boyle “knows the playbook like no one else. He truly knows every single detail.”

That allows Boyle to get the ball out quickly and avoid sacks, which is critical playing behind the Jets’ banged-up offensive line.

Wilson, who holds on to the ball too long, was sacked 15 times in the last three games. Boyle has been sacked only twice in 120 career pass attempts (one came Sunday after he replaced Wilson in the third quarter against the Bills).

Boyle said this week that he wasn’t “confident enough” and didn’t have that “dangerous feeling” the last time he started a game.

All the work and studying he’s done since then has him believing he’s a different quarterback now.

“I’m not someone who’s going to be shell-shocked by the moment,” Boyle said. “I am excited to go out there against a really good defense and show what I can do.”

JETS-DOLPHINS GAMEDAY

VITALS


Line: Dolphins by 9.5; O/U 41
TV: Prime Video and Ch. 5 (Al Michaels, Kirk Herbstreit)
Radio: ESPN-98.7 FM (Bob Wischusen, Marty Lyons); Westwood One (Ian Eagle, Jason McCourty); Sirius XM 88, 209 or 225. 
All-time series: Dolphins lead, 57-56-1 (Dolphins have won 5 of last 6).
Last meeting: Jan. 8, 2023, (at) Dolphins 11, Jets 6.

KEY INJURIES

JETS: DOUBTFUL: CB: Michael Carter II (hamstring); QUESTIONABLE: OT: Mekhi Becton (ankle), OT Duane Brown (hip), OL Billy Turner (finger), LB Chazz Surratt (ankle).

DOLPHINS: DOUBTFUL: OL Robert Jones (knee); QUESTIONABLE: RB De’Von Achane (knee), T Terron Armstead (knee), TE Durham Smythe (ankle), FB Alec Ingold (foot), OL Austin Jackson (oblique).

DEFENSE DETERMINED

The Jets' defense will try to bounce back against the NFL’s highest-scoring offense.

Defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich was “disappointed” by his group’s performance Sunday in Buffalo. The Jets gave up a season-high 32 points, including two long touchdowns. Ulbrich said those type of plays “just can’t be part of our DNA, can’t be.”

The Dolphins are averaging 30.5 points and 434 yards of offense per game. Tyreek Hill’s 1,222 receiving yards are 175 more than the Jets’ entire receiving group combined. The defense likely will need to shut down Miami for this game to be competitive.

Ulbrich said his defense is motivated and perhaps more so since it’s the first Black Friday Game and should draw huge viewership numbers.

“The pride this unit has, [and] to play not up to our standard against Buffalo,” Ulbrich said, “what a great opportunity to get that taste out of our mouth and play a really good opponent like this and show everybody who we are.”

COMMUNICATION KEY

The Dolphins utilize pre-snap motion more than any team. Ulbrich said the defense needs to be extra communicative and make sure they’re working together and are all on the same page. “If we don’t lose our voice after this game then we failed,” Ulbrich said.

TIM’S TIME

Tim Boyle is taking over an offense that has scored just two touchdowns in four games. That spans 52 series and 256 plays. By comparison, the Dolphins have gotten in the end zone at least twice in every game except one.

TREVOR IN WAITING

Trevor Siemian, signed to the practice squad on Sept. 26, is now the Jets' backup quarterback. Offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett said Siemian has “taken the bull by the horns” and has been studying and going over everything with passing-game coordinator Todd Downing and quarterbacks coach Rob Calabrese. Siemian has also been working closely with Boyle and Zach Wilson to be ready just in case.

QUOTABLE

“Tyreek looks like he’s playing a little video game out there, the way he runs.”

— Jets coach Robert Saleh

FAMILIAR FACES

Former Jets quarterback Mike White and receiver/returner Braxton Berrios will be back in MetLife Stadium. White has completed 2 of 3 passes with one touchdown pass and one interception as Tua Tagovailoa’s backup. Berrios has 20 catches for 194 yards and a touchdown.

NUMBER, PLEASE

9:

Total Jets’ offensive touchdowns.

Two Dolphins have at least that many: Raheem Mostert (13) and Hill (9). Miami scored 10 offensive TDs against Denver in Week 3.

— AL IANNAZZONE

More Jets

Newsday LogoSUBSCRIBEUnlimited Digital AccessOnly 25¢for 5 months
ACT NOWSALE ENDS SOON | CANCEL ANYTIME