BY LESLIE MONTEIRO
(Photo credit: Cooper Neill/Getty Images)
The CBS feed of the Jets game against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday went out midway through the fourth quarter. Fans had to settle with James Brown and Boomer Esiason calling play-by-play from the CBS NFL Today studio than Ian Eagle and Charles Davis calling from MetLife Stadium after the game came back on as a result of technical issues at the stadium.
It was apropos since the game stunk from start to finish. The game was over once again at halftime with the Jets mustering nothing on offense and offering nothing on defense. It resulted in the Bengals’ 27-12 rout of the Jets. Some fans headed toward the exits when the fourth quarter started.
This has become too familiar with the Jets for the last 11 years. This has been the story of Jets head coach Robert Saleh’s 5-15 coaching career. This sums up the team every September after going 2-14 since 2018. This is what they have done at home in the last few years by going 11-24 since 2018.
Once again, the Jets didn’t show up defensively and offensively. They never execute plays when they have to such as trying to score a touchdown rather than settling with four Greg Zuerlein field goals. Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins burned the Jets cornerbacks often in this game. So many missed tackles.
The Bengals pushed around the Jets offensive line along with their defensive line all day long.
I would like to say the Jets found some creativity with the offense and defense, but that never happened in this game. Players didn’t figure it out. The Jets trailed to start the game for the 21st straight game.
It started on the opening drive of the game when Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow executed an 11-play, 75-yard touchdown drive to give his team a 7-0 lead over the Jets. The defense offered no resistance at any time there. This was when everyone knew it would not be a good day for the Jets.
In the Bengals’ third possession of the game, they were about to go three-and-out until Jets defensive tackle John Franklin-Myers received a penalty for roughing Burrow that gave them a new life on offense with a first down. They made the Jets pay when Burrow threw a 56-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Boyd, extending their lead to 14-6 in the first quarter.
At halftime, the Bengals took a 20-9 lead and not look back. There was not going to be a comeback like last week against the Cleveland Browns. Lightning does not strike twice.
All of this is a reflection of Saleh and his coaching staff. They offer nothing. It seems like they play checkers while the other coaching staff plays chess during the season. Once again, they got outcoached.
It certainly should make Jets owner Woody Johnson and Jets fans wonder if this is the best Saleh and his coaching staff can do. If that’s the case, it’s time to clean house once again in the offseason.
Here’s the problem with this thinking: What makes anyone think Johnson will get this one right when he has gotten everything wrong since he owned the Jets? These last 11 seasons have been a reflection of the Johnson family’s incompetence.
It’s fair to wonder if the Johnson family can deliver a better Jets product ever again. They certainly don’t have any street credibility to get good coaches and general managers to come here. Forget about Sean Payton coming here. Why would he want to waste his career working for the Johnsons when he can work for better ownership and better quarterbacks in the league?
Campaigning for Johnson to sell the team is something we can talk about another day.
Right now, let’s focus on the present. There has to be a conversation about Saleh such as whether or not he is getting through to his players. The scoreboard and losses tell Jets fans that’s not the case. There are too many receipts from those 20 games that say the Jets put on a bad product under Saleh’s watch.
Once again, the Jets head coach had no answers for anything during the game and after the game. He certainly has no feel with what’s going on, either. There’s no accountability from him or his players. It should make one muse about how he is any better than failed Jets head coach Adam Gase.
We can talk about the quarterback situation all we want, and next week, Saleh is going to be on the clock with Jets sophomore quarterback Zach Wilson likely making his return against the Pittsburgh Steelers, but this won’t solve the problem. It comes from coaching. Until that gets addressed, it will be same old Jets.
It’s hard to think this coaching staff will get it right when the players don’t respect them. Quinnen Williams screamed at Jets assistant coach Aaron Whitecotton on the sidelines to start the second quarter. That tells the story right there.
The players don’t believe in the coaching. Who can blame them at this point? This should be troubling as we move forward.
This looks like a long season with no progress in sight. Fans hoped for a better product heading to this season. Instead, they have to wonder when it will ever get better.
Saleh talked about it’s frustrating as hell after the loss.
If he is frustrated, how does he think fans feel after 53 seasons of misery?
This writer can be reached on Twitter at: @LeslieMonteiro6