When the New York Jets hired Robert Saleh away from the 49ers, they hoped the longtime defensive coordinator would turn the Jets into a defensive force. So far in 2021, the defense is playing well, but not great. The offense, however, needs some work.
The Jets head to New England next, and the NFL betting lines have them as 6.5-point underdogs.
Will Saleh and the Jets be able to turn it around over the final twelve games of the season, or will Saleh have to face questions about whether he’s ready to lead an NFL team? Find out more about the Jets’ chances below.
The Jets Defense Is Improving
The Jets rank 21st in rush yards allowed per game and 15th in pass yards allowed per game. However, the advanced metrics look a little better for New York. Robert Saleh has led his defense to the 9th best mark in the NFL in yards per play allowed. All these marks are improvements over last year when the Jets ranked 23rd in yards per game and 25th in points allowed.
Injuries Have Hurt the Jets in 2021
One thing Saleh could not have anticipated is the loss of defensive end Carl Lawson. The Jets signed Lawson to a lucrative free-agent contract this offseason but lost him to a torn Achilles tendon before the season.
The team also signed linebacker Jarrad Davis this offseason, but he was placed on injured reserve before the season started and has yet to play a snap. Fortunately for the Jets, Davis is expected to return to the field in the team’s upcoming game against the New England Patriots.
The Offense Has Struggled Under Robert Saleh
An NFL football coach is expected to lead both the offense and defense and the Jets offense hasn’t lived up to expectations so far. Zach Wilson has thrown more interceptions than any other NFL quarterback.
The offense as a whole is averaging just 13.4 points per game, the lowest points per game mark in the NFL. As a result, the Jets face an uphill climb. Saleh is a rookie coach, and he’s got a rookie quarterback in charge of his offense.
The real test for Saleh and Wilson will improving over the final 12 games of the season. If the offense continues to sputter, the pressure may ratchet up on Saleh. However, if the Jets show signs of improvement, Jets fans can at least feel optimistic heading into the offseason.
Grading Robert Saleh’s First Few Games as a Head Coach
It’s too early to declare whether or not Robert Saleh was a good hire, but I’ll hand out some grades based on what’s been shown so far. First, on defense, I would give Saleh a B+. The Jets have had some brutal injuries on defense but have still improved from last year.
On offense, I have to give Saleh an F. But, there’s still time to turn things around offensively for Saleh and the Jets. New Jersey sports betting fans can wager on the Jets vs. Patriots game, along with every other NFL game, at BetMGM. Sign up is easy, so create your account today.