Following the New York Jets’ Week 14 loss to the Buffalo Bills, coach Robert Saleh said his club would “see these guys again,” insinuating a postseason prediction. However, after Gang Green lost its fourth consecutive game Thursday night, falling 19-3 to Jacksonville at home, Saleh’s tune changed.
“It’s not about playoffs right now. It’s not,” he said, via the official transcript. “We’ve played four consecutive teams that are in the hunt for the playoffs. We battled three of them and are really disappointed about this showing today. Right now, it’s not about playoffs. It’s about getting off this mat and finding a way to put together a football game.”
New York saw its once-bright playoff hopes shrink to a prayer with their losing streak. After starting the season 6-3, Gang Green has lost five of its past six games to fall to 7-8. The four game-skid has come against Minnesota, Buffalo, Detroit and Jacksonville, all teams in or battling for a playoff spot.
The Jets offense has sunk their playoff chances. In the past three games, Gang Green has put up 12 points versus the Bills, 17 against Detroit and a measly 3 versus the Jags. Zach Wilson has cratered, getting benched for the second time this season. In his seven drives Thursday, the Jets earned a total of 44 net yards and three first downs. The only points came after Quinnen Williams forced a first-drive fumble to set up New York in the red zone. They lost three yards and settled for a field goal.
New York’s defense has been left out to dry all season by the offense. On Thursday, they allowed a 96-yard touchdown drive and gave up 365 yards to Trevor Lawrence and the Jags. It marked the first time since Weeks 2-3 that New York allowed back-to-back games of 300-plus yards.
“It was extremely disappointing,” rookie corner Sauce Gardner said. “We couldn’t execute, we couldn’t play complementary football today. You know the way the fans see it, they see it just the quarterback situation, the offense, but we as a defense, we take pride in everything. Even though 19 points is not too much, we need to get takeaways and score at this point. Our special teams didn’t have their greatest night today, but we know we got a lot of dogs on special teams, so got to play complementary football.”
The loss puts the Jets’ playoff hopes on life support with two games left. They sit No. 10 in the AFC behind Baltimore (9-5), Los Angeles (8-6), Miami (8-6), New England (7-7) and Jacksonville (7-8).
“I don’t even know what to say. I was extremely confident, I’m still confident in this team, but I was extremely confident and I don’t even know what happened,” Gardner said. “It’s like our fourth straight loss, and a couple of them we shot ourselves in the foot at the end of the game, like can’t do that stuff. I take pride in what I do individually because I feel like it starts with me, I gave up like 20 yards today, 20 yards that I gave up that led to a first down, so I got to be on my side, it starts with me because I’m the one on the field, and we got to execute.”
The Jets finish the season facing two teams battling for playoff position, Seattle in Week 17 and Miami in Week 18. That four-game skid could turn into six if Saleh and his club can’t get off the mat in January.
[Video] Youtube Jets HC Robert Saleh speaks on 4th-straight loss, plans for Zach Wilson & MORE | CBS Sports HQ
Listen as Jets HC Robert Saleh addresses the media after the Jets 4th straight loss and discusses plans for Zach Wilson and more on CBS Sports HQ.
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