The Jets don’t have many more backward steps to take with Todd Bowles as their head coach.
Someone needs to get this message across to the entire team.
Will it be Jamal Adams? How about Leonard Williams? What about Quincy Enunwa?
These three players all have one thing in common, they’re team captains.
The Jets have hit their first sense of urgency for 2018. They’re 31-12 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars sapped any remaining optimism in the theory they’ve turned any corners.
They’ve now lost three in a row; the third defeat easily was the most embarrassing.
“I thought the first three games, we fought and made a lot of progress,” Jets head coach Todd Bowles said. “I thought we took a step back today.”
The progress Bowles thought his team made must’ve didn’t make the flight to Jacksonville.
But what did make the flight was a handful of problems the Jets have not solved.
The inability to run the football is stunting the early development of rookie quarterback Sam Darnold. Penalties continue to plague them, especially at crucial moments in the game.
When you add those two bullet points with the way the defense struggled this week, this is a team regressing towards another dismal season.
It’s not extreme to reach that conclusion after watching the Jaguars dismantle them.
The defense is supposed to be the strength of this team. The last two weeks, however, they’ve barely shown up.
Baker Mayfield came off the bench for Cleveland and lit them up in the second half last week. This week it was Blake Bortles being made to look like Steve Young.
Bortles opened the game 11 for 11 passing. When he wasn’t finding open receivers, running free all over the place, he was scrambling for extra yards to move the chains.
And “New Jack City” is a cool nickname for the secondary if the cast does it part to make it hold up. Cornerback Trumaine Johnson was burned on a long touchdown. Adams, the leader of the secondary, was flagged for an unnecessary roughness penalty late in the game.
The Jets had 10 days to prepare for this game. The Jaguars are not pushovers, they’re a legitimate playoff contender. It’s hard enough playing them with a normal amount of prep time, the Jets had extra days and still showed up flat.
This takes me back to what Bowles said about his team taking a step back with this loss. If the Jets step back any further they’re going to fall off a cliff.
It’s still a young team with a lot to learn, but Bowles knows he has to show ownership he has them headed in the right direction. Losses like this only contradict the theory he has everything under control.
It’s not all on Bowles, the team captains have to step up and do a better job too. But, this starts and ends with the head coach.
Bowles needs to get in front of this mess before it gets anymore out of hand. He keeps telling the media he has it under control and that they have to just clean up a few things. Then there’s epic breakdowns in all facets of the game, like against Jacksonville.
There’s only so much anyone can keep sweeping under a rug.