BY LESLIE MONTEIRO
(Photo: Brad Penner/USA Today Sports)
C.J. Mosley offered the money quote after the Jets’ 33-18 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles Sunday at MetLife Stadium.
He mentioned the Eagles did not shake the Jets’ hands during the coin toss even though Eagles defensive lineman Fletcher Cox’s Instagram page tells a different story, and he followed it up by accusing Cox of laughing at Jets head coach Robert Saleh for arguing with a ref on a call.
His postgame comment and Zach Wilson’s first-half performance served as the only thing worth interest in another Jets’ Sunday loss.
Other than that, this team once again was poorly coached. The Jets received six penalties. Eagles backup quarterback Gardner Minshew threw for two touchdowns and 242 yards on 20-of-25 passing, and he had the Eagles score seven of their eight possessions in this game. The Jets never saw their offensive unit on the field for most of the third quarter, which their offense ran just three plays in that quarter and possessed the ball for one minute and 10 seconds. They did not score in the second half.
The Jets clinched their sixth-straight losing season, and they will eventually miss the playoffs for the 11th-straight season. Even though the Jets have more wins than they had last season, how can anyone say there’s progress? The bar is low to say this year was progress based on wins. For me, the least they could have done this season was put on a dignified effort by being competitive. They haven’t, and that’s where Jets fans should question if Saleh is the right guy as the Jets head coach.
When the Jets introduced Saleh as their head coach this year, they offered him as the team’s hope for the present and future. I don’t know about the future. I do know I saw nothing to think he is better than Adam Gase. He might even be worse if you can believe it.
Look, I get it the talent is barren. He really does not have many playmakers on defense. He has a few on offense in Elijah Moore and Wilson. Still, it’s his job to develop some of the players on defense. He hasn’t. His defense gives up big plays almost every game it seems.
Here’s what is startling: Is he really a leader of men just from the eye test? The players may like him as a person, but they certainly are not playing as if they respect him as a head coach.
If they respected him, wouldn’t the Jets go out there and play all out the entire game? I mean after all, the coach promised all gas and no brake this season. Instead, this team just quit the moment they hit adversity.
When Minshew matched touchdowns with Wilson for the first three possessions, the Jets just seemed to give in right after that. There was no fight the rest of the way. How can anyone sell this as progress under Saleh? How is this a good reflection on the Jets rookie coach? Seven of their 12 games this season have been blowouts. Even in the Jets wins this year, this team has been unwatchable.
This was a winnable game. On a day when Wilson started off well by throwing the first three touchdowns on his first three possessions, that’s a game the Jets need to get it done. Instead, their defense folded. That unit allowed 418 yards, the fifth time they allowed opponents to gain at least 365 yards in the last six games. They allowed the Eagles to run 185 yards over them.
If the Jets won this game, the fans would have felt confident about the direction of the franchise because of Wilson. Shoot, they would have felt good about their head coach.
Wilson offers hope, but the Jets fans want more. They want to know if the head coach knows what he is doing. 12 games in, he showed he hasn’t. He has five more chances to show this season that he can be the right guy. He should have gotten started on Sunday.
Looking at the schedule, the Jets may get one more win at best, and that’s against the inept Jacksonville Jaguars at home.
If they can’t get that win, then Jets ownership must wonder if Saleh is the right guy moving forward.
It would be crazy to fire a head coach after one season, but this Jets franchise is at a crossroads. So many lousy seasons cost them the benefit of the doubt from the fans. There comes a time where a franchise needs to get it right. There’s the apathy with the Jets. Fans don’t even get worked up on losses anymore.
If ownership express reservation about Saleh as head coach, then they should execute his firing after the season despite this being a bad look.
It’s on Saleh to change the conversation.
Until the Jets start winning games, it’s going to be hard to take Saleh seriously as a head coach now and beyond.
That’s if he even gets to beyond after this season.
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