Jets are holding receipt. That’s what head coach Robert Saleh said, at least, after New York beat the team’s opening season, 24-9, against the Baltimore Ravens.
“It will happen,” Saleh speak. “We all took receipts for all the people who kept mocking us and saying we wouldn’t do anything. I am taking receipts and I will be happy to share them with all of you when all is said and done. ”
Saleh’s Jets are now 3-1 since then and feeling good after a 40-17 win over the Miami Dolphins. This match was the team’s best scoring result of the season so far.
The Jets emerged from Week 5 with a 3-2 scoreline, something they haven’t done since 2017. Saleh put the team on hold and looked pretty good. They weren’t quite like the Jets of the early years of the Rex Ryan era, but as a complete unit, they looked competent for the first time in a long time.
New York’s offense ranked in the top 10 coming in Week 5 and they played two different quarterbacks. The Jets averaged just 19 points per game in their first four games, and reached that number against the Dolphins in the first half.
It’s not always pretty, but when you’re a franchise like the Jets, you win but you can win it. Saleh’s defensive influence certainly held up as the Jets ranked eighth in total allowed yards going into Week 5.
No one is saying the Jets will make it to the knockout stages but winning eight or nine games would be a significant improvement over what they’ve been doing over the past few years. The Jets haven’t finished on a winning streak since 2015, Todd Bowles’ first year as head coach, when they won 10 games but almost missed out after the season.
They haven’t won more than seven games since. And the last time they were down 3-2, the Jets quickly went into tank mode, losing nine of their remaining 11 games and ending the 2011 season 5-11.
But things seem to be changing in Saleh’s second season in charge of the Jets. Their young QB brand, Zach Wilson, started 2022 on the sidelines due to injury, and veteran QB Super Bowl winner Joe Flacco joined in and did his best to keep them competitive. Flacco led 1-2 in three starts but at least managed to make it interesting. During his start this year, Flacco stepped back to pass the ball an average of 51 times per game.
With Wilson making his season debut last week against the Steelers, that number of passes has dropped dramatically, as he managed to make 36 passes. Wilson wasn’t too efficient, completing only 50% of his throws, but the Jets won. Whether it’s aesthetically pleasing or not doesn’t matter at this point. The Jets just need to get the wins under control to continue to boost the confidence of this young squad.
After Miami, the Jets will travel to Green Bay and Denver for the next two weeks, then return home to play games against New England and Buffalo. All of those games are winnable, with Bills being the exception. New York doesn’t have the toughest schedule outside of their division, and while they probably won’t make it to the knockout stages, there will be a few more wins on the leaderboard. They may be bad, but teams care about winning, especially when you’ve been deprived for so long. All wins can’t be pretty, and if you’re a Jets fan, all you want is to win.
The Jets found a way to win back in Week 5, scoring three hasty touchdowns and doing it by defending against the Dolphins. New York was forced to reverse two innings and not serve once because of a foul. Wilson wasn’t brilliant, but fouled effectively. He finished 66.7 percent of his passes, and the team converted five of the 11 third shots. There were only five penalties in the game making the Jets look like a disciplined team. With the Giants improving to 4-1 and the Jets sitting at 3-2, things are likely to change for the better in New York.