Ah a victory Monday, it has been a while since the New York Jets and their fans enjoyed one of these. With eight weeks in the books, the green and white have already achieved the same win total that they did throughout the entire 2020 NFL season.
With that being said our pair of experts, Paul ‘Boy Green’ Esden Jr and Michael Obermuller are in a particularly good mood for this week’s mailbag.
So many questions including the top takeaways from the Jets’ 34-31 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals to quarterback controversy to final NFL trade deadline nuggets.
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Top Takeaways From This Statement Win
1. Wow just a week after one of the worst losses in New York Jets franchise history we may have just witnessed one of the best! What was your biggest takeaway from this surprising win over the Cincinnati Bengals?
I believe that every football game comes down to 50% talent/execution and 50% motivation. A lot of times fans forget that this game takes an extreme amount of intensity and passion, not just skill.
To quote Al Pacino: “On any given Sunday your either gonna win or lose. The point is, can you win or lose like a man?” Expounding on that, the Jets can beat any team in the NFL on any given Sunday if they come out with more fire than the opponent. On Sunday, Robert Saleh had his team motivated after an embarrassing defeat in New England.
It may not be the answer people want but my major takeaway is that for once, the Jets allowed their opponent to beat themselves — not the other way around. Saleh recently quoted Tony Dungy saying “90% of games in this league are lost, not won.”
This was a trap game for the Bengals, meanwhile Mike White and the Jets came out hungry for redemption. No, I don’t think we found our quarterback of the future but it was nice to see White play well and it was even nicer to see this offense operate the way it’s supposed to.
The bounceback effort after the New England game is something that stands out immediately. Although I’ll go a bit outside of the box and say the involvement of the offensive pieces.
We finally saw some pops from Elijah Moore. He had six receptions for 67 yards and just finally looked like he belonged. There was a determination to get him the football and that’s something this offense should look to do on a consistent basis.
Head coach Robert Saleh said it in the postgame, just get the ball to your playmakers in space and see what happens. That was the offensive plan against the Bengals and it worked to perfection.
Not only did that result in a fantastic win, but it’s also a very encouraging sign for the future.
2. Who was more responsible for the win: Mike LaFleur’s playcalling or Mike White making things happen?
To me, it was 100% Mike LaFleur and it’s not often that I compliment our offensive coordinator. I’ll also add that our offensive playmakers deserve a ton of credit for the victory. Again, this is no slight on White who may have just had the game of his career but we also heard the training camp reports from the backup. He and James Morgan were so bad that beat reporters asked Saleh who they’d bring in to replace him on a weekly basis.
I’d love to see the detailed breakdown of the yards after catch for the Jets in this game because most of these passes went less than five yards through the air. It was the exact same offense that I’ve complained about the Patriots using to beat us all these years. The dink and dunk, or the precision quick-release offense. Matt Ryan used it against us in London and Mac Jones hit us with it again in Week 7. It felt great to be on the right side of this for once but let’s not induct White into the Hall of Fame after one game (sorry).
Did LaFleur call a great game? No doubt about it. He got creative using trick plays, a lot of jet sweeps, and made things super simple for Mike White. With all that being said I’m giving the game ball to the man who made his first career NFL start.
White didn’t just take what was in front of him, he had a historically great performance, and played well beyond his means.
A 400+ passing yard performance (first Jets quarterback to do that in 21 years), three touchdowns, a great completion percentage (82 percent), and just delivered for his team. He had the best game of his football career and expectations are through the roof looking forward.
LaFleur deserves props, but White deserves even more after his stellar performance.
3. Speaking of White, after that spectacular performance are you ready to say quarterback controversy in New York?
No, not in the slightest although New York media will definitely push that narrative. Wilson was hand-selected by Joe Douglas, LaFleur, and Saleh himself because they considered him to be a generational talent. They even traded another top prospect in Sam Darnold to make room for him. No postgame comments from the head coach will change my opinion on this, the rookie out of BYU is the future of this franchise.
Now, having said that, I could see them rolling with White for a few weeks longer than they initially anticipated. The most recent report on Wilson had him attempting a Week 10 return against Buffalo. Perhaps they wait a bit longer now and make sure that knee is 100% with left tackle Mekhi Becton healthy before throwing him back out there and risking re-injury.
The fact that we are even discussing this is a crazy first-world problem. If any fans are losing their minds reading this topic in the mailbag, please direct your anger to coach Saleh.
After the game, Saleh was asked whether White could be the long-term answer. Instead of giving the easy and predictable answer defending his No. 2 overall pick, he left the door open.
Was he simply blowing smoke up White’s skirt heading into a short week? Perhaps, but it seemed like an odd move and created this topic and other questions heading into the next contest for the green and white.
To me, this was just one game. It was a spectacular game, no question, but I need to see a lot more before I even think about quarterback controversy between these two.
Trade Deadline Nuggets, Looking Ahead
4. The NFL trade deadline is on Tuesday, November 2, this is the final call, what does your gut say do the Jets end up doing anything? Explain your answer either way and is that the right or wrong choice?
After hearing Saleh talk about it, I don’t think we’ll see too much and I think that’s a mistake. Douglas is normally a fire sale type but with concerns about his job performance trickling in from different outlets, he may actually be looking at the present more than he usually does. The Joe Flacco trade was a clear sign of that and the head coach’s comments support that theory too.
So to be clear, I don’t believe they’ll buy at all and if they do sell, it would be one or two moves max like Jamison Crowder or maybe Marcus Maye. Morgan Moses was an option but after the George Fant injury, I think that deal is sunk. I also believe Douglas intends to extend a player like Keelan Cole or Folorunso Fatukasi, which means they’ll stay. In terms of C.J. Mosley, the linebacker has displayed his importance to this defense and I don’t see them trading anyone that’s not an impending free agent.
Prediction: Only Crowder leaves town. For Maye, I don’t think they receive the offer they’re looking for and with a compensatory pick and another franchise tag on the table (or a possible team-friendly extension), I think Douglas decides to play this situation out over the offseason.
I wish the Jets would buy a tight end, but this isn’t about what I want to happen, it’s about what I think will happen. Joe Flacco was the only buy they were going to make, now the only remaining options are selling off a few pieces like Keelan Cole, Jamison Crowder, and Marcus Maye.
Although each of those players played a role in the team’s upset win over the Bengals, so separating from them after that could receive mixed reviews.
For general manager Joe Douglas, the present is important, but his eye has to always be on the future. If he can flip any of those guys for decent assets then he will have to strongly consider it. I think the right move would be flipping any and all of those guys. For it to be worth it the picks would have to be round five or better, if it’s less than that I’ll just keep the players and roll the dice.
5. Up next is the only primetime game on the Jets docket in 2021, what are your expectations/prediction vs the Indianapolis Colts? Give me a bold prediction!
I mean the boldest of predictions just occurred before our eyes. White knocked off the 5-2 Bengals by out-dueling Joe Burrow for 405 passing yards. I’m not sure if I can beat that!
Sadly, the last time the Jets came off an emotional victory against the Titans they followed it with a quiet performance in Atlanta. I don’t think the Colts are unbeatable but their defense is a real challenge with linebackers like Darius Leonard and Bobby Okereke. A former Saleh favorite also presents a major challenge, game-wrecker defensive tackle DeForest Buckner. I think White falls back down to Earth a bit on primetime and we see a defensive battle.
My bold prediction will be that the Jets intercept Carson Wentz twice after Shaq Lawson finally got the franchise their first INT of 2021. Turnovers come in bunches and the Colts QB is known for being careless with the football.
I love primetime games. You’re the only show on in town and the whole world is watching you, it doesn’t get any better than that.
With that being said, the Jets and primetime games haven’t been a great mix over the last decade. Being the only game on is both a blessing and a curse. When you make mistakes, everyone sees them.
Heading into this one there’s a ton of momentum coming off of this game and of course the Mike White factor. This is also a golden opportunity for the Jets to prove they deserve more spotlight games next season.
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