Joe Flacco to start Jets’ Week 11 meeting vs. Dolphins

Joe Flacco Jets
Joe Flacco will start for the Jets on Sunday against the Dolphins.
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Zach Wilson will not be 100% healthy to start the New York Jets’ Week 11 game on Sunday afternoon at MetLife Stadium against the Miami Dolphins.

No, Mike White won’t be starting either.

That sound you’re hearing is that of thousands reorganizing their Sunday plans.

ESPN’s Rich Cimini reported on Wednesday that the Jets will start veteran Joe Flacco under center on Sunday, citing the veteran’s experience against blitz-heavy defenses — something that the Dolphins possess.

The 36-year-old — who was acquired back from the Eagles on Oct. 25 after trading him away during the offseason — will get his first start of the season after seeing his first action all year last week in a 45-17 beatdown at the hands of the Buffalo Bills. Flacco completed all three of his passes for 47 yards and a touchdown. 

It’s a clear indication that first-year head coach Robert Saleh doesn’t feel confident going with Mike White for a fifth consecutive week. The 26-year-old — who made his NFL debut in Week 7 after Wilson went down with a sprained PCL — was eaten up by the Bills’ defense last week, completing just 24-of-44 passes for 251 yards and four interceptions. 

White’s performance was a significant letdown after three strong starts that saw him complete 72.7% of his passes for 702 yards, five touchdowns, and four interceptions. A bulk of that production came in his coming-out party of sorts in Week 8 against the Cincinnati Bengals in which he became the first Jets passer since Vinny Testaverde 21 years ago to throw for more than 400 yards (405) in an upset victory. 

Despite his poor showing against Buffalo, Saleh even went to bat for him on Monday, saying that he still has “a lot of confidence in  Mike.”

“Again, [the New York market] fascinates me in the sense that he was anointed the next coming after one game, and now everyone wants to throw him away,” Saleh said. “He deserves better than that.”

Saleh hasn’t done White any favors by benching him for a matchup against a Dolphins defense that is one of the worst in the NFL despite being a blitz-happy unit. They’ve allowed the most total yards in the league, the most passing yards, and the fifth-most points.

Obviously, that blitzing isn’t all that effective as Miami ranks 15th in the league in sacks. 

Flacco last faced the Dolphins in 2020 with unimpressive results: 21-of-44 attempts completed (47.7%) for 186 yards, zero touchdowns, and an interception in a 24-0 loss.