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HomeSportsJoe Judge outrage is a warning sign for Jets’ Robert Saleh

Joe Judge outrage is a warning sign for Jets’ Robert Saleh


The Jets dropped another one on Sunday, losing 30-9 to the Saints at MetLife Stadium. They are now 3-10 and out of the playoffs for the 11th straight year. Here are some thoughts and observations from the game:

1. Jets coach Robert Saleh repeated his message of hope for the Jets fan base after the game. It is something fans have heard from him several times in recent weeks. The message has been to trust the plan and all the bad losses now are going to lead to wins later.

I get it. What else is he going to say at this point? Saleh has to point to brighter days and he can get away with that right now. Next year? There needs to be some results.

Look across town at Joe Judge with the Giants. Everyone gave him a pass during a 6-10 rookie season. Bouquets were being thrown his way for his coaching style. Now, he gets crushed for talking about seeing progress after a loss. The Giants spent this offseason and it has not translated to wins. The Jets have money to spend in free agency and are armed with a trove of draft picks. Joe Douglas can make this team better quickly in the offseason. For Saleh’s sake, he better.

Jets Robert Saleh
Jets coach Robert Saleh can’t end up like Giants coach Joe Judge next season.
Robert Sabo; Getty Images (inset)

If the Jets can’t get out of their own way again in 2022, there will be calls for Saleh’s head like there are for Judge’s right now. I don’t think anyone can expect the Jets to be a Super Bowl contender in 2022, but they need to be playing meaningful games in late December. They need to be a team that is 7-6 or 6-7 and fighting for a wild-card spot at this point next year. Those are reasonable and fair expectations.

The Jets have been pointing to the future for about five years now. At some point, it has to be about the present.

2. It got lost in the game but defensive tackle Quinnen Williams showed some remarkable toughness in the game on Sunday. He injured his left shoulder on the first play of the second half. It looked serious. Williams took a while to get up and then walked right into the locker room. He returned with a harness on his shoulder and re-entered the game. The Jets are 3-10, going nowhere this season and were losing the game to the Saints. It would have been easy for Williams to beg out and call it a day. He showed a lot by playing through the pain and still coming up with tackles.

Jets Quinnen Williams
Quinnen Williams (#95) during the Jets’ loss to the Saints on Dec. 12, 2021.
AP

3. A big part of this part of the season for the Jets is figuring out who should be part of the team in 2022. Let’s look at the starting defense on Sunday and who has a spot locked up for next year and who still has some proving to do.

DE John Franklin-Myers

He will definitely be part of the 2022 team after signing a contract extension in October. But I think the Jets would love to kick Franklin-Myers inside more where he has shown how effective he can be as a pass rusher. If the Jets draft an edge rusher, they could use JFM inside more and that would improve the defense overall.

DL Foley Fatukasi

Fatukasi has been a good player for the Jets but he is a free agent in the offseason and I think he’s the odd man out on the D line. The Jets already paid JFM and a payday for Quinnen Williams is likely coming in 2023. How much money can you tie up on the D line? Fatukasi might be playing somewhere else next year because of economics, not his quality of play.

DL Quinnen Williams

He’s the best player on the team. There is no doubt here.

DL Shaq Lawson

Lawson has been an OK fill in for Carl Lawson and Bryce Huff, but I can’t see him getting a second year with the Jets.

LB C.J. Mosley

Mosley has been a tremendous leader for the Jets and one of their best defenders. They may ask him to restructure his contract this offseason but I would bring Mosley back if I were Douglas.

LB Quincy Williams

This is a player with something to prove in the final four games. Williams looks like a nice find for Douglas and the Jets. They claimed him off waivers at the beginning of the season and he has been a strong tackler for them. I still think the Jets need some convincing he should be the starter next year but a strong finish would do it.

LB Jarrad Davis

He signed a one-year deal with the Jets in March. An injury stunted his growth in the defense and Quincy Williams passed him on the depth chart. He’ll be somewhere else next year.

CB Bryce Hall

One of the bright spots on the team has been Hall’s play. He has proven himself to be a starting cornerback and should be one for the Jets for a long while.

Jets Bryce Hall
Bryce Hall during the Jets’ loss to the Saints on Dec. 12, 2021.
AP

CB Brandin Echols

He’s had ups and downs as a rookie. Echols will be back next year but it will likely be as a fourth cornerback providing depth instead of a starter.

S Ashtyn Davis

Davis has not played well this season. He misses tackles and struggles in coverage. He will be entering his third season, so the Jets won’t give up on him but I don’t think he’ll be a Week 1 starter.

S Elijah Riley

The Jets picked him up off the Eagles’ practice squad last month and he has done some nice things. Another player I don’t think the Jets will want starting to open the season but could stick around as a depth player.

So, we can expect the Jets to have 6-7 new starters on defense next year.

4. One of my favorite podcasts is the “College Football Enquirer” with Dan Wetzel, Pete Thamel and Pat Forde, three great reporters. They joke on there about the “Beanpot” of the SEC with the worst college football teams in the SEC fighting for a mythical crown like the Boston hockey teams do in the real Beanpot tournament every year.

Well, we have the NFL version of the “Beanpot” right now with the fight for the No. 2 pick. It is pretty clear the Lions will have the honor of picking No. 1 overall, but the Texans (2-11), Jaguars (2-11) and Jets (3-10) could all wind up No. 2 and they play each other. The Jets already beat the Texans two weeks ago. The Texans and Jaguars play this week. Then, the Jets and Jaguars meet on Dec. 26 at MetLife (good tickets still available).

If you want the Jets to wind up picking No. 2, I think the best path is to root for a Texans victory this week and then for the Jets to lose to the Jaguars. That would leave all of the teams with three wins if they don’t win any others. The Jets currently have the easiest strength of schedule, which is the tiebreaker, and that is unlikely to change this late in the season.

Revealing stat

The Jets went 3-for-14 on third down on Sunday. Hard to win like that.

Surprising snap count

WR D.J. Montgomery played 39 snaps (59 percent) in his first game. Montgomery has spent the year on the practice squad. His playing time was elevated when the Jets essentially benched Denzel Mims for the second half of Sunday’s loss.

Game ball

Eddy Pineiro made three field goals. The Jets have a kicker … maybe. We’ll see how he fares this week.



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