Jets’ Robert Saleh: ‘Whatever could go wrong went wrong’ on punt return

Jets coach Robert Saleh had a simple assessment of the punt return touchdown that sealed a 10-3 victory for the Patriots on Sunday

“Murphy’s Law, whatever could go wrong went wrong at that very moment,” Saleh said. 

The 84-yard touchdown return by Patriots rookie Marcus Jones with five seconds left on the clock left the Jets stunned and sent the Gillette Stadium crowd into a frenzy. Braden Mann had punted nine times before in the game, but his 10th punt was a low, line drive that was returnable and the Jets coverage could not make the play. Saleh gave his breakdown of what happened. 

“Braden was kicking the ball well [Sunday],” Saleh said. “Get the ball outside the numbers, try to pin them in a corner, tackle like we did nine times before that, they’ll take a knee and we’ll go to overtime. It was a line drive down the middle of the field. They had a counter going that pinned us inside. Our contain guys didn’t get outside like we’re supposed to.” 

It was the first punt return for a touchdown in the NFL this season. 

Marcus Jones returns a punt for a touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post
Robert Saleh reacts during the Jets' loss to the Patriots.
Robert Saleh reacts during the Jets’ loss to the Patriots.
USA TODAY Sports

WR Garrett Wilson was emotional after Sunday’s loss and did not hold back when he spoke to reporters. He tore into the offensive performance and sounded like he was questioning QB Zach Wilson and the coaching staff. Saleh said he did not have any issue with Garrett Wilson’s comments. 

“He’s an ultimate competitor, just wants to win, just wants to do right, works as hard as anybody,” Saleh said. “You guys know him, he’s very emotional. You see it. He’s very demonstrative when he’s celebrating. He’s very demonstrative when he’s upset. You can see it. He wears his heart on his sleeve. … We always want to be better in front of the media and keep our cool because it’s an opportunity to speak to our teammates. He’ll learn from it. I don’t have an issue with it. He called a spade a spade. It wasn’t good enough [Sunday].” 


Saleh said WR Corey Davis (knee), who has missed the last three games, is day-to-day. 

“We’re hopeful,” Saleh said of Davis playing this week. 


On other injuries: Saleh said they are hopeful that RG Nate Herbig (shin) can return this week. DT Sheldon Rankins (elbow) is likely out again. OT Max Mitchell (knee), who began practicing last week, will be evaluated to see if they can activate him off of injured reserve this week.

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