Robert Saleh’s loyalty isn’t helping the New York Jets win games.
Saleh is sticking with Zach Wilson at quarterback even though the Jets haven’t reached the end zone on 36 consecutive drives. Saleh insists Wilson isn’t the only problem and he won’t make a change simply for a spark.
His logic is reasonable. The offense commits too many penalties, players drop passes and linemen miss blocks. It’s hard to put all the blame on one guy, but the Jets (4-5) would be in better position to make a playoff push if their offense wasn’t dismal.
Ultimately, the quarterback has to be accountable.
Quarterbacks get too much credit and too much blame. But numbers don’t lie. No touchdowns over 11 quarters justifies trying something new.
Many coaches have benched quarterbacks who’ve been far more productive than Wilson this season. Nobody would blame Saleh if he gave Trevor Siemian a shot. Mike White invigorated the offense after replacing Wilson last season. Teammates celebrated White by wearing T-shirts with his face on them.
The Jets realized they couldn’t contend with Wilson so they traded for Aaron Rodgers. They went back to Wilson after Rodgers tore an Achilles tendon in Week 1 and while he’s shown improvement, it’s not working.
Wilson made a poor decision on an interception inside the red zone that sealed New York’s 16-12 loss to Las Vegas on Sunday night. He’s completed just 59.8% of his passes with five TDs and six interceptions.
The Jets have a stingy defense and talented playmakers on offense, but they aren’t winning enough games because Wilson isn’t cutting it.
Players are frustrated with losing.
“I’m tired of this, man,” wide receiver Garrett Wilson said. “I want to play better. The whole offense wants to play better. We’ve been saying what we’ve been trying to do. We come out every week trying to make it happen. It’s frustrating.”
The Jets visit Buffalo (5-5) this week and host Miami (6-3) on Black Friday. They have no margin for error.
Saleh owes it to his team to make a switch unless the directive to play Wilson is coming from above.
The Baltimore Ravens (7-3) need a closer whether it’s someone on offense to step up and get a clutch first down to run out the clock or a guy on defense who makes a key stop. The Ravens have led at the two-minute warning in each of their three losses.
They wasted a 14-point lead against Cleveland on Sunday. After Lamar Jackson threw a pick-6 that got the Browns within one point, the offense couldn’t do much and gave the ball back. Then Baltimore’s defense couldn’t finish it off.
The Browns faced a second-and-19 from their 22 with 2:22 to go. Deshaun Watson completed a 17-yard pass, Jerome Ford and Cleveland kept driving. Dustin Hopkins hit a 40-yard field goal to win the game, 33-31, as time expired.
The Ravens lead the AFC North and were dominant in wins over Detroit and Seattle, outscoring them 75-9. But they have to be better in the fourth quarter if they’re going to be Super Bowl contenders.
They have a major test at home Thursday night against Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals (5-4). Each team in the division has a winning record and the Steelers (6-3) face the Browns (6-3) on Sunday so things can get jumbled.
C.J. Stroud’s impressive rookie season keeps getting better and now the Houston Texans (5-4) are right in the mix for a playoff spot. They’ve already won more games than any season since 2019.
Stroud led a 55-yard drive with 1:33 remaining to set up Matt Ammendola’s winning field goal, becoming the only rookie over the past 40 years to lead back-to-back game-winning drives in the final two minutes of regulation. He threw for 356 yards, one TD, one interception and ran for a score in a 30-27 victory at Cincinnati.
Stroud is the only quarterback in NFL history to have 2,500-plus yards passing, 15-plus TDs and five or fewer interceptions in his first nine career games. Only Justin Herbert, Andrew Luck and Cam Newton threw for 2,500 yards in their first nine games.
The Texans host the Arizona Cardinals (2-8) on Sunday so they have an opportunity to improve their playoff position.
TRADE OF THE YEAR
Minnesota’s acquisition of Joshua Dobbs from Arizona at the trade deadline wasn’t a blockbuster, but it’s quickly become one of the most significant moves this season.
Dobbs immediately stepped in when Jaren Hall suffered a concussion and led the Vikings (6-4) to a comeback win over the Falcons and he was excellent in a 27-19 win over New Orleans on Sunday.
When Kirk Cousins tore his Achilles tendon, it appeared Minnesota’s playoff hopes were dashed. But Dobbs helped the Vikings extend their winning streak to five games and they’ve got a two-game lead for the final wild-card spot.
Dobbs will be in the prime-time spotlight this week when the Vikings visit the Denver Broncos (4-5) on Sunday night.
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