Jets QB Mike White still reveling in his amazing first start
Mike White hadn’t yet come down Monday from the high of leading the Jets to a comeback victory in his first NFL start, let alone hearing the fans at MetLife Stadium chant his name after his stunning performance.
It was almost as if he didn’t want to leave the scene of his coming-out party.
Long after celebrating the Jets’ 34-31 victory over the Bengals on Sunday with his teammates, White — who threw for 405 yards and three touchdowns and caught a two-point conversion pass — stuck around the stadium with his parents, his wife, other family members and friends, just enjoying his big moment.
"We hung out in the parking lot and just talked about it," White said. "We just kind of looked at each other and started laughing almost."
Eventually White and his wife, Mallory, went to dinner alone. Apparently, the restaurant didn’t know what White had just done. The dinner wasn’t on the house.
"I paid for dinner," he said. "I definitely paid for dinner, gladly."
White had been a spectator for so many NFL games, hoping his work all week as the practice team quarterback would prepare the defense to face its opponent. But Sunday was different for the former fifth-round pick of the Cowboys in 2018.
With Zach Wilson sidelined by a knee injury, White, 26, didn’t just answer when opportunity knocked, he broke down the door.
White became the first Jets quarterback to throw for 400 yards since Vinny Testaverde nearly 21 years ago. He is the first quarterback in NFL history to record 400 passing yards and three touchdown passes in his first start.
White was the talk of local and national sports shows on Sunday and Monday, and his teammates still couldn’t say enough about him.
"That was a moment," linebacker C.J. Mosley said. "That was a moment to remember for him, for the fans, for our football team."
Defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins said, "It was special to watch. Hearing the crowd say his name, that’s something not only that we’ll never forget, but for a guy like him, first career start in that environment, it was big for him."
White’s phone blew up after the game. He said he received more than 300 text messages that he was "still working on" reading and answering.
"It was pretty wild," he said.
He said he even got some in-game texts from teammate Zach Wilson about what White was doing and reacting to some of his plays. White also said Wilson sent him a congratulatory text and was the first person to meet him by the locker room and gave him "a huge hug."
White said he was "real nervous" because he hit Wilson’s injured knee when they hugged and "banged him up." Wilson is sidelined with a sprained right posterior cruciate ligament.
"Zach was awesome," White said. "He honestly might have been more juiced up than me."
Notes & quotes: WR Corey Davis (hip), OT George Fant (ankle), LB Bryce Huff (back), RB Tevin Coleman (hamstring) and TE Trevon Wesco (knee) would not have practiced if the Jets had held one Monday. Coach Robert Saleh isn’t ruling any of them out for Thursday’s game in Indianapolis.