The NY Jets, spearheaded by head coach Robert Saleh and a ferocious collective defensive effort, pulled off one of the great upsets of the young NFL season, taking down Jalen Hurts and the previously unbeaten Philadelphia Eagles to hand them their first regular season loss on a Sunday since 2021.
Saleh's Jets have remained a story of national interest despite the Aaron Rodgers injury, as the improved play of Zach Wilson and the defense's ability to play well against eight quarterbacks have the Jets in firm contention for a miracle Wild Card run at 3-3. Saleh's profile as a defensive mastermind is rising.
While he isn't usually the type to make inflammatory postgame comments, Saleh raised eyebrows by saying he "embarrassed" the gauntlet of tremendous quarterbacks New York started the season against. Apparently, a true statement of fact said in a very calm tone got Eagles media all riled up.
Analysts on NBC Sports Philadelphia's postgame show ripped Saleh, saying they "can't stand that guy" before adding that Hurts will "remember" his comments. Guess what, Eagles analysts! Hurts will have a few years to marinate on the fact that he threw three interceptions and lost to Zach Wilson.
Eagles media whines after NY Jets' Robert Saleh embarrassed Jalen Hurts
Outside of Dak Prescott in a Cowboys loss, which was so calamitous that every facet of the team struggled mightily, Saleh's defense has been cooking. The top three MVP finishers last year (Patrick Mahomes, Hurts, Josh Allen) combined for three touchdown passes and eight interceptions against the Jets.
What exactly is unlikeable about Saleh, Eagles fans? He's not as bold and brash as someone like Rex Ryan, and he has been very complimentary of Hurts in the past. Not throwing two back-breaking interceptions in the second half could have avoided all of Saleh's boasts.
The rancor should be directed at Nick Sirianni (a good coach) for a poor offensive game plan. Devonta Smith struggled despite the Jets playing just four corners, two of whom were on the practice squad. D'Andre Swift couldn't run the ball all game long, and Philly put up a goose egg in the second half. This was as much a Sirianni mess as it was a Saleh masterpiece.
The Jets had never beaten the Eagles previously, and they did so on the back of Saleh, making Hurts look like a rookie. They're allowed to celebrate, no matter what Eagles fans and media seem to think.