The New York Jets thought changing their head coach from Adam Gase to Robert Saleh would turn their fortunes around.
Unfortunately, that hiring is yet to pay off as the Jets are on pace to repeat the two-win season from last year.
If the Jets end the season at 2-15, will Saleh be a Black Monday casualty?
Robert Saleh used to be so hyped on the sidelines 😂😂 bro be depressed nowadays
— Mohammad (@SeaGoat03) November 14, 2021
It’s safe to bet that he won’t lose his job after one season for two reasons.
First, team owners Woody and Christopher Johnson have given five of the six Jets head coaches a second chance since they owned the team in 2000.
Only Al Groh didn’t make it to a second year, and even Gase made it to year two.
— Jets X-Factor (@jetsxfactor) November 14, 2021
Second, Saleh already has some pieces to help the Jets become a decent team in the coming seasons.
Therefore, he will have a chance to nurture this roster and hopefully turn it into a contender.
However, while Saleh’s seat isn’t hot yet, the firewood is already laid out underneath because the Jets are regressing.
Is Saleh A Defensive Guru?
Former Jets head coach Rex Ryan took offense that Saleh was drawing comparisons to him.
He quickly pointed out that the former San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator only had a top ten defense once in his four-season tenure.
Ryan does have a point because the 49ers’ defense was stellar during their Super Bowl year in 2019.
Other than that season, San Francisco had an average defense.
Robert Saleh, on @TMKSESPN, responds to Rex Ryan criticism. Saleh says he doesn't know Rex, never met him, then adds: "Obviously, if it's that personal for him, he knows where to find me."
Surprised? "Nah, I'm not surprised by him. He's always got something to say." #Jets
— Rich Cimini (@RichCimini) November 15, 2021
But the Jets hired Saleh hoping to boost their capability in shutting down their opponents.
Unfortunately, the team’s expectations are far from the depressing reality.
They give up the most yards per game with 417.1 and the second-most passing yards per game at 283.2.
The Jets also rank 29th in run defense at 133.9 yards per game and worst in points allowed at 32.9 per contest.
Looking at the opponent’s scores alone indicate that the Jets defense is regressing.
Before their bye week, 27 points was the most they gave up in one game.
After which, they surrendered 54 to the New England Patriots and 45 to both the Indianapolis Colts and the Buffalo Bills.
The lack of defense affects other aspects of their game.
I have so many questions for Robert Saleh & the Jets as a whole. My gawd man…ppl clown Urban Meyer but I see way more fight from Jacksonville. There is absolutely NO pulse on the defensive side and that’s your area of expertise?! Cmon dawg….cmon 🤦🏾♂️
— Damien Woody (@damienwoody) November 15, 2021
They are 30th in rushing yards per game (76.3) and 27th in points (17.9).
The Jets also have the worst turnover differential, with seven takeaways and 22 giveaways.
The Clock Is Ticking
It may be his first season as Jets head coach, but the sands in the hourglass continue to trickle down for Saleh.
However, he still has eight games left to deliver a decent ending to their season.
Winning half of those games can build their momentum for next year, especially with Zach Wilson absorbing a ton of wisdom from his rookie campaign.
Therefore, Saleh must motivate his team to fight harder in every game.
Robert Saleh's message to Jets fans:
"I'm just as frustrated as everybody else. This thing is going to flip, I know in my heart. Sometimes you go through struggles to seek glory." pic.twitter.com/zjJ2vJgs7n
— Jets Videos (@snyjets) November 15, 2021
The Jets have winnable games left against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Houston Texans, Philadelphia Eagles, and the Miami Dolphins twice.
Winning all of those games will give them seven wins which is not bad considering the team’s recent history.
The playoffs may be out of the question, but finishing strong will cement Saleh’s second year with the Jets.