Robert Saleh discusses 'embarrassment' of lack of run-defense, challenge of stopping Bills' on the ground

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Robert Saleh looking down perplexed in New England headset on
Robert Saleh looking down perplexed in New England headset on

This Sunday, the Jets will have to worry about a Buffalo Bills team that has the 11th-most rushing yards per game.

That will come just 10 days after Jonathan Taylor ran all over them.

The Jets allowed 260 rushing yards last Thursday in Indianapolis, and Robert Saleh still isn't happy about it.

“It’s more embarrassment [than anger]," Saleh told reporters on Friday. "I’ve said it before: I’d rather see 500 yards passing than 250 yards rushing. It feels different. The run-game is a matter of wills. It’s mind over anything. It’s strain and it’s fighting for every gap and fighting for every year."

The overall numbers don't look good - they allow, on average, 133.3 rushing yards per game. But that has come with a couple of outliers - the Colts game, and they also faced Derrick Henry, who through seven games before injury was on pace for a would-be-record 2,110 yards on the ground.

Prior to the Colts game, they were averaging 106.6 rushing yards allowed per game, which at this moment, would be above average in the NFL.

“It’s just a matter of just hunkering down and getting back to the fundamentals and doing what we had been doing for the whole year. It felt like it hadn’t been a problem, and obviously Indianapolis did a great job," Saleh added.

The Bills are coming off a horrible 9-6 loss against the Jacksonville Jaguars, but they are still among the best in the league. Devin Singletary averages 4.9 yards per carry, while MVP candidate Josh Allen averaged 5.6.

"Buffalo presents a whole different type of issue now that you got a running quarterback, you’ve got two backs that can run the ball, they’ve got a good offensive line that can create lanes, now we gotta get ready to defend everything. It’s gonna be a tremendous challenge on Sunday.”

And with that challenge, the Jets defense is ready for redemption.

"I think our defensive guys take a lot of pride – the players throughout the NFL have a lot of pride. To have that happen to them, I think they’re really excited to get back Sunday to get it fixed.”