Mike White #5 of the New York Jets attempts a...

Mike White #5 of the New York Jets attempts a pass in the second half against Greg Rousseau #50 of the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, Nov. 14, 2021 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Credit: Jim McIsaac

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Mike White said his last game against Buffalo stuck with him a “very long” time. He probably isn’t entirely over it, but he’s not letting it hang over him this week with the Jets facing the Bills.

“It will be one those things that will kind of sit with me for even longer,” White said Thursday. “As an athlete when you play long enough in a sport, you’re going to have those games no matter what. I have those games from high school that I still think of.

“It’s always going to be part of my development as a quarterback. I don’t want it to beat me twice.”

White threw four interceptions in a lopsided loss to the Bills last Nov. 14. Three of them came on three straight possessions in the third quarter. White admitted to getting too caught up in playing “hero ball” with the Jets down 24-3 in the third quarter.

It was only White’s third career NFL start. He feels he learned a valuable lesson from it, and it showed last week.

The Jets were down 20-3 in the second quarter in Minnesota. White didn’t try to do too much. He took what the defense gave him and brought the Jets back to within 27-22.

Converting just 1-of-6 red-zone chances ended up costing the Jets the game, but White’s calm demeanor and cool hand was an indication that he’s grown from that Buffalo beating.

“The guy’s a tough, resilient dude,” offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur said. “He’s got ice in his veins. He really does. Just the way he goes about his business every day. He’s not going to be too up, he’s not going to be too low. He’s going to keep battling for his teammates. I think you saw that.”

The Jets (7-5) will need that same approach on Sunday in Buffalo. They’re currently the seventh seed in the AFC playoff race. The Bills (9-3) are the No. 1 seed and will be looking for revenge after losing to the Jets at MetLife Stadium last month.

White, making just his sixth start, could be looking for his own form of payback. But he said that’s not the right way to approach this game for himself or for his teammates.

“You can’t play hero ball,” White said. “You can’t go in there thinking, ‘I want revenge from what happened last year.’ What happened last year is over with. It’s done with. Got to move on from it. Different scenario, different team. You can easily fall into that.

“Me personally, I’m going to do my best to make sure that doesn’t happen.”

LaFleur isn’t worried about White letting last year affect him this week.

“I don’t think it will for him,” he said. “I don’t think it will for any of the guys on our offense or our team.

“Mike takes those moments in those games and uses them as learning experiences. It was his third start. He’s still a newbie in terms of how much time he’s played, but he’s gotten much more experience and much more comfortable.”

The Jets are 1-1 since White replaced Zach Wilson, but the offense has performed much better. He’s thrown for 684 yards in the two games and spread the ball around to his receivers.

Robert Saleh has said “the intent” is to go back to Wilson at some point this season, but that’s seems unlikely barring an injury to White. He’s popular in the locker room. White has earned their respect and admiration for his selflessness, ability to get his skill players touches and play complementary football by keeping the Jets’ defense off the field

Saleh said White is “proving that he can” be a long-term quarterback in the NFL. White said that’s the goal and he has the confidence that he can, but he’s not looking past Sunday.

“The only thing I think about is the game we’re playing that week,” White said, “and knowing there’s 52 other guys in the locker room that I want to go out there and perform well for and give them a chance to win the game and keep going and see where this thing takes us.

“Really, truly, it’s not cliché. It’s really all I think of is one week at a time and see where the chips fall at the end of the year.”

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