Schott: For Jets, Two Steps Forward, One Big Step Back

(Neil Miller/Sportsday Wire)

The Todd Bowles era began with tremendous promise, as they opened the season with two victories, with one of them an impressive performance in Indianapolis to stun the Colts.

The Jets came back from Indy to take on the mediocre Philadelphia Eagles, and they were soundly defeated 24-17. They were down 24-7 entering the fourth, and did not show any signs all day they could actually pull this one out.

Bowles, in his first year as Jets head coach, has a tough test ahead, as the the Jets travel to London to take on the rival Miami Dolphins. He has to make sure this one loss does not spiral, as it has so many times for the Jets.

Bowles said of his message to the team after their first loss, “You make them aware of the mistakes. They understand how we played. You let everybody know how they played and we’re not satisfied with it and those things can’t happen and you move on. There’s no real message. They won the game. They ran the ball, we didn’t. They got turnovers, we didn’t. That’s pretty cut and dry for us. We’ve just got to play better.”

On if it’s important not to overreact over one loss, Bowles said, “It’s just as important not to overreact for a loss as it is to a win. We didn’t overreact to the two wins, we’re not going to overreact to the one loss.”

Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick had a tough game Sunday, as he threw for a two touchdowns and was 35-for-58 passing for 283 yards. He also threw three interceptions.

The Jets, and Fitzpatrick in particular, had trouble with wide receiver Eric Decker and running back Chris Ivory out with injuries. Brandon Marshall had a tough time trying to pick up the slack at wide receiver despite finishing with decent numbers, 10 receptions for 109 yards. Bilal Powell led the Jets rushing attack with 10 carries for just 31 yards.

Fitzpatrick said of how much he attributes the struggles on offense to being without Decker and Ivory, You have a game plan set in place for all of the different combinations of who’s going to play and who’s not. We play to each guy’s strengths, that’s what we try to do when we set the game plan. It’s hard to say. Obviously you want your best guys out there, but you guys have seen it over the years, Jeremy Kerley is no slouch. He’s a very good receiver, he does a good job of getting open and obviously has very good hands. Bilal (Powell) is the same way, he’s a playmaker. Everybody deals with injuries and you just have to be able to continue to push through it. We didn’t make the best out of it.”

Bowles said to the question of if Ivory will return against Miami, “Yeah I think he will. A couple of more days of rest, he should be.”

On an update for Decker, Bowles said, “Not yet. I’ll wait until Wednesday to see how he’s coming along.”

On Monday, Fitzpatrick said of what he saw on tape from the offense against the Eagles, “It was messy. Of our first six drives, five were three-and-outs, that’s a recipe for disaster. It’s such a slow start, trying to play from behind because of that all game. The 58 attempts or whatever it was is too many. That’s not our formula for success. There’s a lot of things coming out of that game that we’ve got to be better at, and that starts with me. There’s a lot of things from my performance that I just need to continue to get better at. Learn from it, but have to move on to next week and a new opponent and all the challenges that are going to come with traveling to London.”

On if the number of passes is a product of trailing early in the game or the Eagles taking away the run, Fitzpatrick said, “I think it was a combination. They did a good job. We have to sit here and give some credit to the Eagles defense for some of the stuff they did. We thought we’d be able to run it on them better than we did heading into the game, obviously. So, it was a product of both. Having the drive at the end of the first half, the two minute drive where we were a little bit up temp and we moved the ball through the air, we’re thinking in the second half that that was going to be an effective way for us to do it. Like I said, if we’re going to do that, you can’t have the incompletions. You have to be efficient and keep moving the chains and stay away from the turnovers.”

Jets wide receiver Devin Smith, their 2015 second round pick, made his debut on Sunday, catching three passes for 39 yards.

Fitzpatrick said of how Smith played, “It’s hard to get in there and not go crazy and forget everything you learned. He did a good job. A couple of things, formationally, that were tough. I thought he did a really good job, just being able to step up and not have a lot of the normal errors that you would expect out of a guy playing in his first NFL game. He’s going to be a good player. He’s obviously got a lot to learn and he’ll continue to work, but he did some good stuff out there.”

On the deep pass he threw to Smith, Fitzpatrick said, “One of them was down the middle of the field forced that should have never been thrown, a couple of them we’re going to take our shots with him. Just have to continue to work at it.”

Wide receiver Jeff Cumberland did not finish the game with a “head injury,” as Bowles termed it. Cumberland is in the concussion protocol this week.

Cornerback Derrelle Revis played after missing practice with a groin injury, and tweaked his hamstring during the game.

Bowles gave an injury update on Monday, and he said, “He (Revis) said his hamstring was fine. He said it was on the same leg. He might have over-compensated for it is what he told me.”

On if Revis’ injury is cause for worry, Bowles said, “I don’t know. I’m sure he’ll be a little sore this week. Hopefully it’ll get better quicker.”


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