Penalties plagued the Jets in Week 5, but Robert Saleh believes one should never have been called.
The play in question came on a third-and-nine during the Falcons’ first drive of the day. Linebacker Quincy Williams hit Matt Ryan in the chest as the Falcons quarterback released the ball. Williams performed a form-tackle but landed on top of Ryan after the throw and may have led with his helmet.
“I think we’ll see, slow motion and all that, looked like he had his head to the side,” Saleh said after New York’s 27-20 loss. “He’s obviously full speed trying to get to a guy before he throws the ball, and when he lands, he’s trying to roll up. You can see it go off, so as of now, I disagree with the call, but we’ll see when we get to the tape.”
— Daniel Fitzgerald (@nflpicksfitz) October 10, 2021
The penalty pushed Atlanta over midfield, and the Falcons eventually marched downfield and took an early 3-0 lead.
“It’s not an excuse by any sense of the imagination,” Saleh added. “When you’re fighting your tail off and a call like that doesn’t go your way, we’ve still got to find a way to get off the field.”
The Jets committed seven total penalties in the loss, including another roughing the passer penalty and a few more drive-extending mistakes. It marked the fourth time this season New York was flagged at least six times.
Saleh didn’t change his mind a day after the game, either. He doubled down when asked about the Williams penalty and hopes the team won’t be plagued by questionable calls moving forward.
“Eventually, we’ll get to the point where we get the benefit of the doubt on those plays,” Saleh said Monday. “Right now, that’s an uphill battle.”