NY Jets head coach Robert Saleh might have dug his own grave Monday afternoon during his weekly press conference. Facing a litany of questions about Zach Wilson, Saleh doubled down on committing to him throughout the rest of the season.
Without recapping all of it as others already have, Saleh at points called Wilson "the unquestioned starter," said he "was not the reason we lost the game," claimed "others have to step up around Zach," and added that "he is doing many good things at practice to show signs of progress."
There are the types of comments that get coaches fired. This is not even a doom and gloom article — I already did that this week. But for Saleh to stand up there and not once even suggest Wilson played poorly is unfathomable.
I'm not suggesting that Saleh should have blasted Wilson or thrown him under the bus. No coach should ever do that. But Wilson was reasons 1, 2, and 3 why the Jets lost yesterday, plain and simple. He's the league's worst quarterback, by a lot, at the most important position.
For Saleh to claim others have to be better and that Wilson was not the reason the Jets lost risks him losing the locker room, something he said would never happen. If he loses the locker room, he will be fired. Honestly, I think he might be fired anyway.
The Jets have the fourth toughest schedule this year and face a series of tough opponents over the next few weeks. I saw someone on social media ask this question and thought it was a great opportunity to discuss it further in an article.
If the Jets stay with Wilson throughout the year, how many wins will they end up with?
What does the NY Jets schedule look like?
The Jets face many tough opponents this year, including playing in arguably the toughest division in football. Even with Aaron Rodgers, many analysts believed the Jets might max out at just 10 wins because of how difficult the schedule was.
The Jets have already played the Buffalo Bills at home, the Dallas Cowboys on the road, and the New England Patriots at home. They are currently 1-2.
Before the bye week during Week 7, the Jets have to still play the Kansas City Chiefs at home this Sunday, at Denver on Oct. 8, and at home against Philadelphia on Oct. 15. They then get their bye week.
After the bye week, they play (in order) at the Giants, home against the Chargers, at the Raiders, at the Bills, home against the Dolphins, home against the Falcons, home against the Texans, at the Dolphins, home against the Commanders, at the Browns, and finally at the Patriots.
How many games are truly winnable
Obviously, in the NFL, anything can happen. For reference, the Arizona Cardinals, who are actively tanking the season, just beat the Dallas Cowboys by two scores with Josh Dobbs at quarterback.
Now, this proves just how bad the Jets are with Zach Wilson, as they were utterly embarrassed two games ago by the same Cowboys team, 30-10, but the point stands that anything can happen.
However, if we are being honest as fans, I would say that seven games left are still winnable. This Jets team, with average quarterback play, can beat the Broncos, the Giants, the Raiders, the Falcons, the Texans, the Commanders, and the Browns.
That would put the Jets at 8-9 for the year if they won every one of those games and lost every other game. However, I think that aiming for the Jets to win every one of those games while Zach Wilson is playing quarterback is truly an overestimate of what they can do.
On paper, the Jets might not be favored in any of those games as long as Wilson plays. This is a team that so far has scored a total of 36 offensive points in 3 games (12 points per game). They are a Josh Allen turnover-prone outing away from being 0-3.
If I was given $100 a week and told I had to pick a winner in each of the remaining Jets games. I would only favor them against the Texans and Broncos. I don't see how a fan or a player can feel confident in any of the other games after watching the Jets so far this season with Wilson at the helm.
Final NY Jets win/loss prediction
With all of that said, if Zach Wilson plays a full 17 games this year, which I really do not think happens regardless of what Robert Saleh says publicly, I think they finish 4-13 or 5-12.
If I had to pick the games they win, I expect them to beat the Texans, Broncos, and Falcons at home. For a bonus win to get to 5-12, they might beat the Raiders or Browns.
If they finish that poorly after all of the preseason expectations, I wouldn't be surprised if not only Zach Wilson but also Robert Saleh and the rest of the coaching staff are playing and coaching elsewhere next season.
Buckle up, because this has all of the makings of getting really ugly, really fast.