Let’s take the time here to add head coach to the growing list of concerns involving the New York Jets.
Todd Bowles apparently doesn’t believe in sparks, which is exactly what his beleaguered team could’ve used Monday night in Arizona.
The downward spiral continued for the Jets with a 28-3 loss to the Cardinals in prime time and on national television. The Jets have now lost four straight games, their record on the season is a dismal 1-5.
Starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick wasn’t the sole reason for the Jets stinking up the joint at University of Phoenix Stadium, however, he did play a key role in it.
Fitzpatrick completed 16 of 31 passes against Arizona for 174 yards, but don’t let those pedestrian numbers mislead you. His failure to get over not having injured wide receiver Eric Decker for the rest of this season has led to an excessive dependence on Brandon Marshall.
There were far too many times where he locked in on Marshall early in his progressions or tried to fit throws where they had no business going. The eventual result, as in many cases this season, was a second half end-zone interception which put an end to any fleeting hopes the Jets may have had to get back into the game.
This game, however, was arguably over before Fitzpatrick’s interception. The case can be made it was really over when the Jets came back out on the field after halftime and backup quarterback Geno Smith was still on the sideline with a baseball cap on instead of his helmet.
Playoffs? Forget about that. This team has bigger problems and now it includes their head coach.
Bowles, with his team playing uninspired, had the chance to shake things up by benching Fitzpatrick at halftime and turning to Smith. A head coach has to have the pulse of his team through the good and the bad.
Where was the awareness for Bowles? His arms, at times, folded as he watched with a blank stare from the sidelines while his $12 million quarterback faltered again. It was unacceptable and, for a team in a must-win situation, could be a defining moment in his coaching tenure.
And what about Smith? Bowles eventually put him in the game … with the Jets already down by 25 points in the fourth quarter.
Why do it then, Coach?
“The game was 28-3 with eight minutes left in the game and we weren’t doing anything,” Bowles explained afterwards. “I just wanted to give him some reps.”
Was that a logical explanation or was it about there being a method to the madness for Bowles? Smith hadn’t played in an NFL regular season game in almost a year, if Bowles is planning for a change at quarterback maybe this was his way of getting the wheels turning towards a move.
Maybe, when the the Jets play Baltimore this Sunday at home? No?
“Fitz will be back next week,” said Bowles. “It definitely wasn’t Fitz’s fault. He barely had any time to throw.”