What are the New York Jets players and coaches talking about ahead of Sunday's Week 15 matchup against the Detroit Lions at MetLife Stadium? Let's find out:
1. Jets head coach Robert Saleh was asked Wednesday what makes Detroit's offense so effective, and the first thing he mentioned was Detroit's offensive line.
"Their o-line is arguably – you can go them and Philadelphia (as best in league) – just a really, really talented offensive line," he said. "They play with an edge."
One of the best matchups Sunday will be Detroit's offensive line vs. a really talented Jets defensive front led by defensive tackle Quinnen Williams. The Jets' defense ranks sixth in points allowed (18.7), third in total defense (301.2) and fourth against the pass (189.4).
View photos of the starters for the New York Jets.
2. Saleh said Lions quarterback Jared Goff is as good as any quarterback in the league when he's afforded time to stand in the pocket and deliver the football. Saleh said Goff is playing at a really high level right now, and when he watches the tape it looks like he's playing 7-on-7 because of how well the offensive line is protecting him.
"He's playing with tremendous confidence," Saleh said. "I think he's only been sacked 19 times. Especially with a guy like him, if you let it be 7-on-7, then he's going to kill you."
3. Jets quarterback Mike White will be limited at practice Wednesday, per Saleh, as he continues to battle a rib injury suffered last week in the Jets' loss to the Buffalo Bills. White said on Monday, however, he expects to play Sunday.
In other Jets quarterback news, former No. 2 overall pick Zach Wilson was elevated to the backup QB role this week vs. Detroit after being inactive the last three weeks with Joe Flacco playing the backup role.
4. The Jets did a lot of work on Lions defensive lineman Aidan Hutchinson in the pre-draft process, Saleh said. The Jets had the No. 4 pick in this year's NFL Draft.
"He's exactly what we thought he'd be," Saleh said of Hutchinson. "High effort and relentless. He's got a tremendous skill set to him. He's doing a really nice job to have this kind of production as a rookie."
Saleh said they projected Hutchinson as a perennial double-digit sack player in the NFL.
Saleh and the Jets missed out on Hutchinson, who went No. 2 overall to Detroit, but they did just fine in getting cornerback Sauce Gardner (6-3, 200) at No. 4. Gardner is the favorite to win Rookie of the Year with a month to go in the season. He is arguably already the best cornerback in football.
Opponents are completing just 44.1 percent of passes thrown his way (26-of-59) on the year. They have a 48.8 passer rating when challenging him.
5. Williams is dealing with a calf injury, and Saleh said he's about 50-50 right now for Sunday's game against Detroit. That would be a huge loss for the Jets if he wasn't able to go. Williams has 11.0 sacks from the interior and he's a top three defensive tackle in the NFL along with Aaron Donald (Rams) and Chris Jones (Chiefs).
6. Saleh grew up in Dearborn and said he still has a ton of high school friends who are Lions fans. He was a huge Barry Sanders fan growing up. He interviewed for the Lions open head coaching job after the 2020 season that eventually was awarded to Dan Campbell. Saleh was very complimentary of Sheila Hamp, Rod Wood and Chris Spielman for the conversation they had in the interview process.