Sunday Night Whispers – No false sense

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A few thoughts . . .

One thing I didn’t quite understand.

If you want to start Joe Flacco, that is fine, but why not have Chris Streveler active and put in some wildcat plays to compliment the statuesque Flacco, especially with the team’s issues running the ball? . . .

After the game the coach talked about “outside noise” regarding the six-game losing streak. Clearly there should be a ton of inside noise at One Jets Drive about this too.

They lost to four very average teams over the last month – Detroit, Jacksonville, Seattle and Miami.

Injuries, or no injuries, the should have been able to manufacture a win or two against this group. As Bill Parcells always said, “There is a way to win every game.”

Jets need to play better complimentary football next season, like the New York Giants did this year, and figure out ways to win games, even when it’s not your best day.

That is the next step in the cultural re-boot – being culturally strong enough, to figure out ways to win games, even if it’s not pretty . . .

On the Miami Dolphins game-winning drive, they had a second-and-9, at the Jets 38, with 1:12 left, running back Salvon Ahmed had a 7-yard run up the middle, to set up a more makeable field goal for Jason Sanders. A big factor in the hole opening up was Greg Little handling Quinnen Williams.

Look, I know Williams is a very good player, and deserves a nice contract this off-season, but there is no way around it – he’s a middle-of-the-road run defender. He was one of the players who got handled on that 60-yard run by Kenneth Walker in Seattle on the Seahawks first-offensive play last week.

Somebody asked Jeff Ulbrich on Thursday if Williams is a Hall-of-Fame level talent.

Not sure where that question came from, but if the player is ever going to be in that kind of conversation, he must improve as a run defender.

Many people, in the media, and in the building, are glossing over this issue, for whatever reason . . .

I know this might sound like a strange comment to some, but there is one small positive to the Jets loss today. It makes them enter the off-season with their eyes wide open on all the problems that need to be fixed.

Remember when Rex Ryan was on the hotseat in 2014, and the Jets beat Miami in the season finale in South Florida, and they announced after the game the coach would be back?

I’m not saying Robert Saleh was in any trouble entering this game, but covering this team for quite some time, and seeing how effusive the social media praise is after wins, you could see perhaps too much being made over a win in Miami to end the season, and that impacting the off-season approach.

So in a way, you could argue this loss in Miami was a good thing, not a bad thing for the Jets, because it made it crystal clear, they have a ton of work to do to take the next step.

Joe Douglas has made it clear being strong in the trenches is a top priority of his, but trench issues plagued them during their six game losing streak to lose the season.

They had issues running the ball and stopping the run, and obviously had pass protection issues.

Granted there were a lot of offensive line injuries, and they really missed Alijah Vera-Tucker, but they better fix the trenches this off-season, and aside from adding some offensive linemen, they better get a big-time run stuffing defensive tackle, like Miami’s Christian Wilkins, who you saw in action today.

But the big point is this loss today will actually turn out to be a good thing for the Jets, not a bad one.

The last thing they need is a repeat of the attitude following the 2014 upset of Miami in the season finale to finish 8-8. They need to roll their sleeves up and fix this.

January 8, 2023

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Dan Leberfeld
Dan Leberfeld
Publisher of Jets Confidential Magazine. Call 1-800-932-4557 (M-F, 12-4) to subscribe. Co-host of Press Coverage every Saturday on SiriusXM NFL Radio from 11-2.

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