The Mike White bandwagon ground to a halt at MetLife Stadium on Sunday. The stoppage may or may not be temporary. But White, the Jets' young backup quarterback playing in place of the even younger and injured Zach Wilson, was less concerned after the 45-14 loss to Buffalo about his personal deflating than he was about the Green and White airship staying off the ground and flying forward.
"Very tough," White said of his down day that included throwing four interceptions into the teeth of the Bills' defense. "It's not just me personally but as a team and as a teammate. When guys are out there fighting their tails off for four quarters and you turn the ball over four times, it's tough.
"The only thing we can do is get better from it and not let this beat us twice and get into the film room and learn from our mistakes, me included and starting with me first. Being able to learn from what happened today and not let it happen again."
One thing that prevented White from turning today's home game into a repeat of the victory parade against Cincinnati two weeks earlier was the quality of the opponent's defense. No knock on the Bengals but the Bills came to town with No. 1 rankings in many NFL categories, perhaps plus a desire to make the Jets pay for their own shortcomings in last week's 9-6 loss to the Jaguars.
"They're a really good defense," White said. "They had a lot of post-snap rotations and gave us a lot of different looks and we just didn't execute at the end of the day. That's going to happen. You've got to be able to adjust to those things. This is the NFL — guys are good and you've got to be able to make adjustments."
Wherever White tried to adjust, though, it seemed the Bills were there. What happened on the four interceptions?
"The deep one to Elijah [Moore], I just got a little too aggressive instead of just taking what they gave me," he said. "The one to Keelan [Cole], I just left the ball inside and wasn't able to finish my throw. And the other one was just some miscommunication with Corey [Davis]. I've got to learn from it. Those kinds of things can't happen."
And were the Bills sitting on the Jets' short passing game and checkdown success that worked so well against the Bengals?
"They definitely attached to our underneath stuff and made us earn it down the field on tight-window throws," he said. "So they did a good job of that, but like I said, we've got to be able to make adjustments. You've got to, in game, be able to see what they're doing and know that and be able to identify it and attack it."
Even one of the positives for the Jets offense heading into this game, the return of Davis from two games away with a hip injury, didn't work quite as the Green & White wanted. He finished with five catches for 93 yards, not bad, but had only one catch in the first half, in fact in the final minute of the first half, which the Bills pried out of his grip in Buffalo territory to end perhaps the Jets' last best chance to stay in this game for the final 30 minutes.
Davis, asked how he and his teammates can best help White on days like these that aren't turning out like days against Cincinnati, had a simple answer.
"Just by making plays and supporting him," Davis said. "Let him know that if we're going to be out there, we're out there together and we just have to make plays for him, help him out."
In other words, as White said, it's the Three Musketeers motto — "All for one and one for all" — and no "Woe is me's" when a Bills game unfolds for a QB who just a fortnight earlier was the talk of the NFL for all the right reasons.
And that goes for the week ahead, too, when White will find out if he will hold onto his starting role for another game or if Zach Wilson is well enough to return to the lineup.
"Zach is still dealing with stuff," head coach Robert Saleh said of the QB verdicts he and his staff will be making for the Dolphins. "I know we worked him out pretty hard this morning. We'll see how that went. He's getting better every day so we'll see where he's at from an injury standpoint before we make any decisions."
White, who has mastered the art of quarterbackspeak despite making his first pro start only recently, said all the right things regarding the call that Saleh and OC Mike LaFleur will be making in the coming days.
"I'll support him just like the first couple of weeks of the season," he said. "I want to see him do well. He's a good kid and he works his butt off. He's been working his butt off in his rehab and staying engaged and coming to meetings and staying engaged on the field when he wasn't able to practice.
"Whatever my job is, I'm going to do it to the best of my ability, 100 percent."
See Best Images from the Game at MetLife Stadium