Jets coach Robert Saleh addressed a critical situation against the Vikings that drew criticism after Sunday’s 27-22 loss.
The Jets went on third-and-four from the 1-yard line, trailed by five with less than two minutes left in the game, and threw the ball twice. Both passes were incomplete The Jets didn’t get the 1 yard they needed to take the lead.
Saleh said the third-and-1 was a run/pass option. White opted to throw the ball, but wide receiver Garrett Wilson tripped and the ball sailed wide.
On fourth down, instead of running it back to Zonovan Knight or running to the quarterback, offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur threw a free pass, meaning there was no running back in the backfield. White threw the ball to an open Braxton Berrios, but the ball fell just behind Berrios. receiver failed to catch despite the ball hitting his hands.
“It’s called your best game,” Saleh told LaFleur. “Call your best play that you’ve worked on all game, he finds a way to get open and we had a guy open. It just didn’t work. Catch the ball, no matter what.
Saleh was asked if LaFleur should at least run as a decoy in the backfield.
“Can you put a guy in the backfield to run? Of course, said Salih. “Whenever something doesn’t work, you always want to hit the undo button. That’s when you have to be committed to your preparation, committed to what you’ve done. What is the best we can call it at the moment? And we went with it. ”
What the Jets have looked at for a long time occurred in the red zone for his crime on Sunday. The Jets scored just one touchdown on six drives inside the 20. They rushed for 486 yards on the season, but lost mostly due to struggles in the red zone.
“This is an execution,” Saleh said. “There are things we could have done better as a coaching staff and things we could have done as players on the execution side. Then, thank them too. They played the situations very well. … Yeah, definitely not a good day in the red zone.
The Jets are 26th in the NFL in red zone efficiency this season at 48.6 percent. Over the past three weeks, they’ve been even worse, going 2-for-9 and ranking 31st in the league. Jets pitcher Greg Zuerlein struck out five to keep them in the game, but couldn’t score a Jets kill.
“We’ve got to find ways to finish those drives and get six instead of three,” Dwayne Brown said.