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Starting Siemian Will Give Jets 'Best Chance to Win' in Week 14

Saleh should make the smart move and start the battle-tested veteran in December 10 home game vs. Texans

His opportunity has been limited to a fourth-quarter relief appearance, so is it fair to say that Trevor Siemian is definitively not the quarterback who gives the New York Jets their best chance to win in Week 14?

While not willing to name a starter on Monday, Jets' head coach Robert Saleh disclosed the primary criteria that the selected individual must meet.

"It’s who gives us the best chance to win. It’s that simple," said Saleh.

It may well be Siemian, who has 13 career victories as a starter in the NFL. 

Siemian's 13-17 record is far from legendary, but it certainly beats journeyman backup Tim Boyle's 0-5 mark. Meanwhile, Zach Wilson, who has lost the starting job two years in a row, owns a 12-20 win-loss record at the controls of the Jets' offense since 2021.

According to Saleh, Wilson, who has six touchdowns and seven interceptions through 10 appearances, lobbied for playing time during a face-to-face meeting on Monday.

"I didn’t call him, he came into me. He wants the ball," said Saleh of his latest interaction with the beleaguered field general.

Although the Wilson's physical ability is superior to that of his fellow Jets' quarterbacks, Saleh has seemingly concluded that Wilson is not the guy who brings out the best in the offense. After yanking the former No. 2 overall draft pick late in the third quarter of his sixth loss this season, the Jets turned to Boyle for two starts. The result was one offensive touchdown combined in back-to-back duds. Boyle averaged 4.7 yards per pass while posting a 56.2 passer rating over the past three weeks. 

On Tuesday, the team sent Boyle packing while replacing him with 27-year-old Brett Rypien. The Green & White signed Rypien, who owns a 2-2 record as an NFL starter, off the Seattle Seahawks' Practice Squad. It's unlikely to onboard a quarterback and prepare him to start in four days' time. Even with his prior playing experience under Jets' current offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, Rypien will probably be a spectator during the Week 14 home game against the Houston Texans on December 10.

Of the three passers currently on the Jets' 53-man roster, only Siemian has a 3,000-yard passing season to his name. Going 8-6 over 14 starts for the 2016 Denver Broncos, Siemian threw for 3,401 yards and 18 touchdowns to 10 interceptions. The following season, he logged 2,285 yards through the air over 11 appearances.

Rypien has passed for only 950 yards in his pro career. Wilson topped out at 2,334 pass yards over a 13-game sample as a rookie. Rolling the dice with Siemian's résumé, which features 7,092 yards passing, is worth a shot when the team has scored only 10 offensive touchdowns through 12 games.

Over his five most-recent starts, four of which came in 2021 for the New Orleans Saints, Siemian has accounted for a 12:4 touchdown-to-interception ratio. He has 42 career TD passes and 28 interceptions, a significantly better-looking sample than Wilson's 21:25 career ratio.

Siemian, who initially joined the Jets on a Practice Squad deal this past September, understandably had a rough go in the fourth quarter against Atlanta on December 3. Relieving Boyle, who was sent to the bench, the 31-year-old went 5-of-13 passing for 66 yards while facing constant pressure from the Falcons' pass rush. 

"I thought Trevor came in, again, did a couple of good things," said Saleh.

One has to think Siemian would have looked much better with a full week of practice reps as the first-team quarterback. Give the grizzled veteran the opportunity to prepare for the Houston Texans and see how it goes on Sunday, December 10 at MetLife Stadium. 

For a 4-8 team that's all but eliminated from postseason consideration, why not try something different and start Siemian? He's had more prior on-field success than Wilson and Rypien combined. Not to mention, he almost beat out Jake Browning for the Cincinnati Bengals' backup job behind Joe Burrow this past summer. 

If it truly is about which player gives the Jets the best chance to win in Week 14, as Saleh claims, then Siemian should be the guy who gets the chance to snap the team's five-game slide.


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