NY Jets head coach Robert Saleh is feeling himself following his team's thrilling 20-14 victory over the previously undefeated Philadelphia Eagles in Week 6. And he's earned every right to talk his talk.
Saleh's defense forced four turnovers of Jalen Hurts and the Eagles offense, single-handedly propelling a stagnant Jets offense to a victory on Sunday. They did so with genuine practice-squad players starting at cornerback.
Saleh has heard the nonsensical "overhyped" talk. He's heard the unfounded criticism throughout the first few weeks of the season. After Sunday's performance, Saleh has every right to speak his mind and boast about his team.
The Jets' head coach spoke to reporters following Sunday's game and bragged about how impressive his defense has been against some of the NFL's elite quarterbacks over the first six weeks of the year.
"Through these first six weeks, we've played a gauntlet of quarterbacks. I know we haven't gotten all wins, but we've embarrassed all of them."- Robert Saleh
Robert Saleh and the NY Jets have one of the best defenses in the NFL
The Jets' defensive masterclass in Week 6 was just the latest in a line of impressive performances the team has had against elite quarterbacks.
The Jets forced three Josh Allen interceptions and four Bills turnovers in the team's Week 1 win over Buffalo. This defense made Patrick Mahomes look silly in Week 4, forcing two (should have been three) costly interceptions.
And this week, against Jalen Hurts and a potent Eagles offense, the Jets' defense came through again, producing three interceptions and a fumble recovery to carry a lackluster Jets offense to a win.
The Jets defense makes elite quarterbacks look like gun-shy, mistake-prone rookies. They did it with Allen, Mahomes, and now Hurts. Heck, even Russell Wilson had his worst game of the season against this defense.
Saleh is absolutely right — the Jets defense has embarrassed some of the league's best quarterbacks this season. The Jets are 3-3 entering their bye week despite facing a gauntlet of opposing quarterbacks.
And they've done it all without Aaron Rodgers and a number of other key players.
Give Robert Saleh his flowers. If his defense continues to play like this, he could find himself in the Coach of the Year conversation by the end of the season.