Pretty much any way you slice it, the Jets’ 2022 season got off to a terrible start in Week 1 against the Ravens. The defense played well for a while, but the offense’s inability to get anything going led to a 24-9 drubbing. Joe Flacco didn’t look good under center, piling up just 307 yards, one touchdown, and one interception on 59 pass attempts.
Sunday’s poor showing wasn’t even finished before fans at MetLife Stadium started calling backup quarterback Mike White’s name to replace Flacco. Those calls have continued into the early parts of this week, with WFAN’s Joe Benigno even stating he thinks the Jets aren’t making this move because they’re afraid White is better than injured starter Zach Wilson.
But after such a rough Week 1, could New York make a change under center before heading to Cleveland to face the Browns? Head coach Robert Saleh didn’t definitively say Flacco would start Sunday (quote via New York Post):
“Right now everything’s always under discussion and under review, talking with [quarterbacks coach] Rob [Calabrese], talking with [offensive coordinator] Mike [LaFleur].”
That’s encouraging for fans who are already fed up. But just as fast as you can get excited, Saleh then said this in his next breath:
“Obviously, we’re not done with our postgame evaluation and all that stuff, and much appreciated with the passion with quarterbacks and all that stuff, but Joe’s been very, very steady throughout OTAs, training camp. Last year, threw four over 300 [yards] on Miami in a really good game. We’ve got all the utmost faith in Joe. Does that mean something can’t happen tonight? I’m not going to promise you anything, but at the same time, as of now, Joe is our starting quarterback.”
Well, then — there goes that. Saleh finished by saying it’s more likely Flacco starts over White but also that the doors are open “on every position every week”.
It is still pretty early in the week before official decisions are made. Saleh and his coaching staff probably won’t alienate their veteran quarterback after just one game. And based on how the Jets tried to make it look like Wilson could’ve played in the days leading up to Week 1, Saleh wasn’t about to tip his hand about Week 2 six days before kickoff.
This seems like one of those situations where the head coach is saying something encouraging for the media, but there’s just about no chance it actually happens. Flacco is probably getting more than one game to prove himself. If the Jets flop again in Cleveland, though, the calls for White will continue to grow louder.