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Notebook | HC Robert Saleh, Jets Plan to 'Attack' Bye Week After Consecutive Wins

Green & White Execute Late in Games; Look to Improve on ‘Details’ in Red Zone


Last season, the Jets arrived at their Week 10 bye with a 6-3 record after a 20-17 victory over the reigning AFC East champion Buffalo Bills. Following the week off, the Jets stumbled down the stretch losing 7 of their last 8 games to finish the season.

In the 2023 season, the Jets have found themselves in a similar position.

After a 20-14 victory against the defending NFC champion Philadelphia Eagles, the Jets (3-3) head into the bye on a two-game win streak – riding high once again. This season, the Jets are focused on keeping up the momentum through the break while getting much deserved rest.

"Just like last year, it is exciting," HC Robert Saleh said. "You get a big win going into the bye week, you have your whole season ahead of you. The important thing is that we attack the heck out of this week. Be deliberate in our approach, just don't go to the beach and drink and eat nachos like I said a year ago. We have to be mindful in how we approach it as players and hit the ground running when we get back."

The Jets played without three of their top four corners – D.J. Reed (concussion), Sauce Gardner (concussion) and Brandin Echols (hamstring) – against the Eagles on Sunday and got strong performances from CBs Bryce Hall, Tae Hayes and Craig James in their place. Hall registered an interception, and Hayes and James combined for 4 tackles and pass defenses.

With time off, Saleh hopes to get the starters back for the stretch run and continue to build depth in the secondary. In the first five games after the bye, the Jets play "at" the Giants, the Chargers in Week 9 on "Monday Night Football," at the Raiders in Week 10 on "Sunday Night Football," at the Bills and then the Dolphins in Week 12 for the first Black Friday game, kicking off at 3 p.m. Eastern.

"You'd like to keep playing, but we have a lot of guys that feel like we can get healthy over the next couple of weeks," Saleh said. "We're going to need to get fresh because after this bye week, we got, I think what feels like three consecutive short weeks. We go from a Monday night to a Friday. So, there's a lot of challenging weeks ahead of us. So, we're going to need to be as fresh as we can be."

Late-Game ExecutionIn the Jets 20-14 victory over the Eagles on Sunday, S Tony Adams intercepted QB Jalen Hurts and returned the ball 45 yards to the Philadelphia 8-yard line with 1:50 remaining with the Green & White trailing, 14-12.

Saleh and OC Nathaniel Hackett were faced with a decision and elected to run the ball with RB Breece Hall for an 8-yard touchdown and give the ball back to Eagles with 1:46 remaining and leading, 20-14, following a 2-point conversion throw from QB Zach Wilson to WR Randall Cobb.

The Jets' defense ultimately got the stop forcing the Eagles to turn the ball over on downs. Over the offseason the Jets had practiced in similar scenarios that allowed them to execute flawlessly late Sunday and earn the upset victory.

"Dan Shamash, our situational coordinator, he does such a great job," Saleh said. "He's on top of it, but [the decisions] were instantaneous. 'Hey, what is the worst-case scenario?' They get the ball back with about 35 seconds to go if we run it three times and they stop us needing a field goal. We want to score then, immediately, so it's quick, but these are all things that had been decided way, way before that situation has ever been presented."

In the last two minutes of games this season, the Jets are second in points scored (18) and second in point differential (plus-15).

Take a look through some of the best photos from Sunday's 20-14 win over the Philadelphia Eagles.

Red-Zone Fixes
Despite the victory, the Jets offense was disappointed in its red-zone execution against the Eagles. The Jets moved the ball effectively and picked up their second-most first downs this season, 17, but scored one touchdown in four red-zone trips.

"I think we start with the red zone," TE Tyler Conklin said. "Obviously, I don't know what the numbers are, but they're not very good in the red zone. We got to start scoring some touchdowns there. Once we start doing that, I think we'll be pretty happy with ourselves and what the offense is doing."

The Jets have still managed to come away with points on 14-of-17 red-zone trips this season. With a greater focus on the details, WR Allen Lazard is confident the Jets will start coming away with more 6s and fewer 3s.

"I think we are doing a good job of obviously, moving the ball to go get the ball in that area and everything," Lazard said. "We just have to be able to have discipline and stay on our details throughout the rest of the drive to be able to able to finish off and get the results we want."

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