After the New York Jets’ 23-20 defeat on “Sunday Night Football” against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday night, Jets head coach Robert Saleh was tight-lipped on his opinion of how the final drive was officiated in light of a couple controversial calls. Trailing by three, Gang Green’s defense was in an advantageous situation with the Chiefs facing a third-and-23 with just over six minutes to play. Reigning NFL MVP and Super Bowl MVP quarterback Patrick Mahomes scrambled downfield for a gain of 25 after having an extended amount of time in the pocket. Despite the possibility that the Kansas City offensive line may have held Jets edge rusher Jermaine Johnson II, no call was made.
Watch how long Jermaine Johnson (11) gets held on this play with no call 😂 #KCvsNYJ
— Bad Sports Refs (@BadSportsRefs) October 2, 2023
Just a few minutes later, the Chiefs found themselves in another third-and-forever situation. On a third-and-20 with 4:29 to play, Mahomes’ pass to receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling was intercepted by Jets cornerback Michael Carter II. However, the takeaway was taken away after a defensive holding penalty was called on All-Pro cornerback Sauce Gardner.
They called this holding on Sauce Gardner…
— NFL Stats (@NFL_Stats) October 2, 2023
After reviewing both plays overnight, Saleh felt comfortable unleashing his frustration.
“It was kind of a bizarre last drive, a series of unfortunate events,” Saleh said Monday. “It was a seven-and-a-half-minute drive that was aided by non-calls, calls. It was just bizarre. I don’t know if I’ve ever been part of a drive like that to end a football game, especially a game like that on national television. So, it’s unfortunate. I’m still trying to understand what we could’ve done better and we’re still trying to figure out how we can coach things better. I’ll get clarification [on the Sauce penalty] and we’ll go from there.”
This quote matches his on-field emotions during the game in which he displayed visible frustrations throughout the contest.
Robert Saleh went through all the emotions Sunday night 😳 #KCvsNYJ
📺 NBC pic.twitter.com/60EbZGcqO3
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) October 2, 2023
The Jets have another emotional game coming up in Week 5 with a trip to Denver to face Sean Payton’s Broncos. Current Jets offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett was Payton’s predecessor during a 5-12 season in which Hackett was the coach for their 4-11 start. This offseason, Payton called Hackett’s tenure “one of the worst coaching jobs in the history of the NFL.”