It was a disappointing afternoon at MetLife Stadium as the NY Jets fell to the Cincinnati Bengals 27-12. Let's take a look at a few brief takeaways from another disappointing home defeat.
Back to Reality for the NY Jets
If not for a miracle comeback last week against the Cleveland Browns, the Jets (1-2) would be in full-on crisis mode right now. In a matchup that was viewed as winnable against a struggling Bengals team, the Jets were outclassed and the game once again felt decided by the fourth quarter.
“[We have] more important things to worry about than listening to that,” Joe Flacco said regarding the boos.
Now, Gang Green finds itself going into Pittsburgh under immense pressure to come away with a win considering the team has dates with the Miami Dolphins, Aaron Rodgers, and Russell Wilson after that.
Coming into this game, the Jets pass rush was expected to feast against a Bengals offensive line regarded as one of the worst in the NFL, and they did anything but as they finished with two sacks.
Joe Burrow carved through the Jets' defense in the opening quarter to the tune of 95 passing yards and it did not get much better for the Jets as he finished 23-for-36 for 275 yards and three touchdowns.
“Our vets are making critical mistakes at critical times,” Saleh said. “It’s got to get fixed.”
On a broader scale, the Jets' defensive performances have to be concerning for Saleh and company as they have allowed more than 300 yards in each of the last two weeks. If the Jets want to have any shot going forward, they will need more from a unit Saleh once coordinated in San Francisco.
Return of the Zach
Assuming all goes right, it appears Zach Wilson will make his return next week against the Steelers. Without trying to sound hyperbolic, the future of the Jets could be decided in the next 14 games.
“We’ll evaluate it all tomorrow,” Saleh said about Wilson on Sunday. “Until the doctors say so I’m going to just say he’s being evaluated.”
If this league has shown anything, it's that having a franchise quarterback can change the trajectory of a franchise. While the Jets are far from perfect, if Wilson can prove he is the guy, he can mask a lot of Gang Green’s deficiencies and give them a season worth remembering.
However, if he struggles once again and looks like the 2021 version of himself, the Jets will have a lot more to worry about than preparing for Sundays.