McDonald: The Next Two Weeks Is Not The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year For The Jets Todd Bowles

Tonight’s 34-13 Jets loss to the Miami Dolphins is a microcosm of Todd Bowles coaching career. Sometimes he looks very good and sometime you wonder why he is in this job.

And for the second half of the game tonight, you wondered if Bowles was going to make it through the fourth quarter.  

After the game, Bowles looked like a beaten man. You can tell it in his face during his post-game press conference and in his words.

Right now, he has no answers to what is ailing his Jets.

To his credit, though, he’s taken full responsibility for this debacle of the season and made no excuses about the latest loss.

“It’s all on me,” he said. “I did a terrible job getting these guys ready to play. I thought we were ready to play in the first half. In the second half, as the head coach of this team, that’s not looking very good right now.”

All of this is great and all and even though, Bowles has the vote of confidence from management, you have to believe the next two weeks will determine his fate.

Now, understand, the Jets don’t have to win these games, but they can’t just give up like they did in the second half tonight.

“When we play like that it all falls on me,” Bowles said. “I have to do a better hob. It starts at the top.”   

But here’s the problem with firing Coach Bowles. You still don’t know if he’s the right man for the job. Is he the coach who is 4-10 this season or the one who went 10-6 last year? After almost two full seasons, we still don’t know if Bowles can lead the Jets to the Promised Land.

If you fire him in two weeks, the Jets are back to square one with their program. There will be a new coach coming in with a new philosophy and new learning curve for the players.

For those of us who seen this story before, it’s not the best way to build a franchise.

Rather, the Jets need stability from the sidelines and with that logic; you figure the Jets should keep Bowles and give him another year. One good season combined with one bad season and you figure you 2017 will be the rubber match for Bowles coaching career.

But what if 2015 was the outlier and Bowles is the coach we have seen over the past few weeks, where his players quit? Then the Jets put themselves back for another season.

That’s the question Woody Johnson needs to answer.

And while we are on Johnson, maybe the Jets owner needs to start doing things a little differently himself. Remember he was the one who hired Bowles and not general manager Mike Maccagnan and both men answer directly to Johnson.

It’s a hierarchy that has been tried before and never seems to work.

So if Bowles does go, then Maccagnan needs to be the guy to hire the next coach and not Woody Johnson.

But let’s not put the belittled coach on the unemployment line yet.

If Bowles can somehow pull off a Christmas miracle and at least be competitive in New England and then put Rex Ryan in his place on New Year’s Day, then give him another chance.

But if we see the same hot garbage that was the second half tonight, then it’s time to move along.

It’s that simple.

Last week the Jets showed life in San Francisco, even though the 49ers had only one win on the year. And for 30 minutes tonight, the Jets looked like an NFL team that was playing a well against a very good division rival.

So you see the issue and tonight’s game doesn’t give you any answers.

He’s got two weeks – Christmas Eve and New Year’s.

Right now, it’s not the most wonderful time of the year for Coach Bowles.


About the Author

Joe McDonald

Joe McDonald is the founder and former publisher of NY Sports Day. After selling to i15Media in 2020, he serves as the Editor-in-Chief and responsible for the editorial side of the publication. In the past, Joe was the managing editor of NY Sportscene magazine and assistant editor of Mets Inside Pitch. He has covered the Mets since 2004.

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