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Robert Saleh: I definitely overthought timeout usage at end of game

Mike Florio gives an update on Jets quarterback Mike White and whether he will be available for New York's Thursday night matchup against the Jaguars.

Jets head coach Robert Saleh has come under criticism for failing to use all three of the team’s timeouts when they were trying to tie or win Sunday’s game against the Lions in the final minute.

After the game, Saleh said he probably should have used a timeout after a 10-yard completion to wide receiver Garrett Wilson near midfield rather than let more than 15 seconds burn off the clock before the next snap. He was more emphatic on Monday about what he should have done in that situation.

Saleh told reporters that he “got about a half-hour’s worth of sleep last night” because of thoughts about things he could have done better during the game and that he wishes he “could have had” that sequence over again.

“This is the one where I definitely overthought this situation,” Saleh said, via Brian Costello of the New York Post. “That’s the one where I definitely overthought it. Call a timeout, there’s 49 seconds left. I felt like we got the better end of a spot and I was trying to beat New York on the challenge. That’s the one I overthought. It didn’t matter. We’re not playing for downs at this situation. We’re playing for time. When you look at it all, I definitely, probably cost us one more snap.”

While his in-game process was faulty, Saleh’s right about playing for time rather than downs. If replay had changed the spot, the Jets would have had two plays to pick up the yard they needed to keep the drive going and the seconds lost in the process were far more valuable than the field position.

The Jets didn’t wind up calling a timeout until after Zach Wilson was sacked on the next play and they were left with one timeout in their pocket when Greg Zuerlein missed a 58-yard field goal on the final play of the game. No one can know if better timeout usage would have made the Jets a winner, but it’s clear that the way things actually went down hurt their cause.