Pressure Lands on Robert Saleh as Jets Prepare to Take on Struggling Giants
Prior to the start of the NFL season, we asked if Jets GM Joe Douglas or head coach Robert Saleh was under more pressure as the 2023 campaign was about to get under way. We said then, and even more so now, that the pressure on Robert Saleh is far greater than the pressure felt by Joe Douglas.
While Douglas’ detractors enjoy citing the team’s record since his arrival, the truth of the matter is that neither Douglas nor Saleh were going to experience much success early on. What the two were left to work with by the departed Mike Maccagnan was an abomination. A team with only a few players worthy of NFL roster spots. A complete overhaul was in order.
Now that the overhaul is largely complete, the Jets find themselves sitting at 3-3 while knowing 4-2 with wins against both of last year’s Super Bowl participants likely just a blown call away. The talent is there to beat the NFL’s elite teams. This is no longer up for debate. And that talent was assembled by Douglas. This is why the heat is on Saleh.
A hallmark of past New York Jets coaches has been to find ways to win games that only a playoff caliber team can win, only to follow it with a loss to a team that nobody takes seriously. This is the pitfall Robert Saleh has to avoid as the Jets prepare to take on the lowly Giants.
Saleh, hired largely due to his acumen as a defensive genius, is getting his team to play a “road game” in his home stadium. A game in front of a crowd that will likely have a large number of Green and White faithful in the seats. A game against the 32nd ranked scoring offense in the NFL who will be going to battle with their backup quarterback under center. It’s a perfect “trap” game.
The Jets unlikely win over the Eagles saw a jubilant Robert Saleh jumping up into the arms of a fired up Joe Douglas as the head coach marched toward a raucous locker room. His players were well aware of the importance of finishing out a game against a team on the top of the NFL heap, such as the Eagles. But do they understand that in beating Philadelphia and giving the Kansas City Chiefs all they could handle, that the bar has been raised?
No more “the better team won” after a loss when you know that you’re capable of beating the elites. When healthy, the Jets have two shutdown corners, arguably the deepest defensive line group in the NFL, and a pair of linebackers who may very well be the best duo in the league at the moment.
When that’s the case, you can’t lose to a Giants team that can’t put up points if you’re Robert Saleh. Winning this Sunday is obviously the more immediate concern. As the season moves forward for Saleh, the bar and level of play have to remain elevated with a playoff spot being far more likely now than anyone could have imagined when Aaron Rodgers was lost for the season.