How would you think a New York Jets game would go if it started with a shanked kick off followed by a big play to the opponents star receiver who is facing off with Sauce Gardner? Nothing like you’d think since the next sequence went pressure forcing an incompletion then pressure obscuring Allen’s view making him throw the ball right to Jordan Whitehead. This can’t be the same defensive team who ranked dead last just a year ago, this can’t be the same coaching staff who’s view on player rotation and scheme were scrutinized inside and out. The Criticism was warranted because we didn’t believe and like Coach Saleh says we needed to see to believe because we had no faith but his players and coaches had faith and didn’t need to see to believe. Robert Saleh’s coach speak and phrases leave room for poking fun at when his team doesn’t win but when they are successful it makes for introspection and a different view of the man that spoke them. Robert Saleh is a man of faith but its his all business, making the main thing the main thing kind of attitude, a kind of tunnel vision if you will held up by an all consuming passion for the game thats written all over his face on game day which makes him the leader of men that he is. His team seem unflappable at times mirroring their head coach’s demeanor. This team has bought into what their coaches have been preaching, so weekly game plans and methodologies are gospel to these men, creating a protective cocoon that they all can retreat to when things get a little challenging.
These coaches knew what they had on defense so they set about finding the perfect game plan to let this hungry lions hunt on Sunday. The offense had a few long drives, milking the clock, keeping Josh Allen and the Bills offense off the field while wearing down the Bills defense. they scored on the first of those, the sky cam”s cable snapped right in the middle of another seemingly throwing off the Jets momentum right into a Von Miller strip sack. But then it was time for the hunt starting with a Quinnen Williams sack then a Sauce Gardner pick right after. This young team was playing the best team in the NFL and it never seemed like the moment was to big. Big play after big play from veterans like CJ Mosley and Sheldon Rankins to rookies like Gardner and Jermaine Johnson kept the team in the game until the end. Thats belief when even the youngest, with the least experience know its time because they have faith in what they were taught, they can sense it.
The same old Jets trope should be burned and buried. This team has proven that it is exponentially better than anyone thought it would be. Its fourth quarter prowess and innate feel for the big moments, when it’s time to rise above, time to bring the sixty percent more you have in you. From 0-9 predictions to attempted clowning on networks sports shows, no one believed even most fans didn’t see this coming. Robert Saleh’s vision has created an environment for not only his young coaches to thrive with their players but also a space for faith, a space to grow in that has never been at One Jets Drive. What makes it even more incredible is that some of their best players weren’t on the field on Sunday. They believe in themselves and a wave of confidence is growing in that locker room. The players are so calm when interview after games that it seems like they’ve been here before. That’s why coaching matters and after this game Robert Saleh’s name should be in contention for coach of the year.