Robert Saleh doesn't blame Jets' loss solely on Zach Wilson: 'It's on all of us'

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Jets Zach Wilson leans back to throw, white jersey solo
Jets Zach Wilson leans back to throw, white jersey solo

It looked like the Jets might get a win on Sunday against the Miami Dolphins, leading 17-10 at the half. The defense then allowed 21 points in the second half, as New York lost the game, 31-24.

Rookie Zach Wilson didn't turn the ball over, but struggled against the Dolphins' second half adjustments. He ended up going 13 of 23 passing for 170 yards. After the game, head coach Robert Saleh told reporters that the loss was a "collective effort" and not all the blame should get put on Wilson.

“Everyone’s always going to look at the quarterback, that’s just natural, but call me old school, it’s a collective effort," Saleh said. "It’s receivers winning one-on-ones, it’s O-line protecting, it gets the run game going, and then obviously, it’s Zach delivering the football where it needs to be delivered in a timely manner. It’s not all on Zach. It’s on all of us.”

The Jets managed to go just 3 for 11 on third-down conversions against the Dolphins defense, and struggled to get the offense playing the same way it did in the first half. Saleh went on to explain what happened in the second half.

“Offensive football is a rhythm. Sustaining drives, getting first downs and keeping the ball in manageable situations," Saleh said. "… It’s a lack of rhythm. You’re getting some three and outs. We had a chance to really do damage there. We had the ball to end the first half, exactly what we (drew) up, see if we can score some points, see if we could get a lap opportunity, we missed out on both of those, defensively, we just couldn’t hold up.

"… As far as the offense is concerned with Zach, there is a rhythm thing. Yeah, they’re gonna change their pitcher, especially when things were going well in the first half, they’re gonna change their pitcher on you – they have to. And he’s gonna have to be able to adjust in game also.”

Wilson said after the loss that the offense needs to keep trying to execute, and despite the result, it's a good learning experience for the team.

“I thought they did some good things in the second half that made it tough on us," Wilson said. "We just gotta keep going, trying to execute and just get going, really, I think is all it was. I really thought even in the second half I didn’t think we were doing anything terrible. We just weren’t completing passes and got sacked too many times. It’s gonna be some good learning experiences for us.”

Saleh continued by saying the team struggled on converting manageable third downs, and that was a major factor in the offense's second half struggles.

“We could never get anything rolling in the second half in sustaining drives, and that comes back to converting third downs and staying on schedules and staying on manageable 3rd and 5s," Saleh said.

The defense allowed 379 total yards to Miami, including 183 yards on the ground thanks to veteran Duke Johnson's 107-yard effort with two touchdowns. Saleh was straight to the point when asked about why the defense couldn't stop the run.

“Yeah, it is disappointing," Saleh said. "There’s a lot of missed tackles in the run game. It’s clearly not good enough.”