Moeller: Jets’ Defense Predictably Falters in Ushering Bowles Out the Door

The Todd Bowles era at Met Life officially ended with the mantra that has hovered over the majority of his four years.

Inability to finish games  (see- defense).

This season alone, it was the fourth time they allowed a lead to slip away in the final quarter in their 44-38 loss to Green Bay.

This was the unit Bowles and the front office drafted and built the better part of four seasons, and it never reached its full potential.

Like they have the past three seasons, the defense rarely pieced a full game together.

Despite their publicly allegiance to him, the defense again let Bowles down.

They time it will be forever out the door.

Uncharacteristically, the Jets began the game energized and aggressive. It looked like a good afternoon ahead.

Leonard Williams recorded an early sack, and he and the rest of the line were winning the war of the trenches, chasing and unsettling Packers’ legendary quarterback Aaron Rogers.

The Jets were looking more like the Packers, and the Packers were looking more like the Jets.

But the momentum began to swing when Williams was ejected and the Packers posted 17 points, whittling a 14-point deficit down to 21-17.

The Jets looked disinterested on their way to an eventual defeat.

Still, Sam Darnold again dawned his Superman cape like he did all afternoon, and went to work in the third quarter.

He gave the defense a 35-20 lead at the start of the fourth quarter.

Unfortunately, most of the Jets faithful in Met Life and around the tristate had that insecure feeling.

Then the majority of the Jets’ 16 penalties for a team-record 172 yards began to become more noticeable to keep Packers’ drives alive.

In the end, Rodgers hit Devonte Adams streaking past Claiborne for the winning score in overtime. Rogers threw for 442 yards and the Packers rolled up 540 yards of total offense.

It was another wasted afternoon and an opportunity. Too, too many in the last three years.

Yes, there were some questions calls that Bowles and toasted cornerback Morris Claiborne criticized after the game.

Yet, there were plenty of boneheaded ones like there have been throughout the season as well as the lack of discipline at the most inopportune times.

Try four pass interference and three unsportsmanlike penalties.

The famed defensive unit that was supposed to light the way this year has been reduced to a flickering shadow of itself.

Williams hasn’t lived up to his billing as his sack was the first in nine games.

However, rookie lineman Henry Anderson (seven sacks) is a keeper.

Claiborne ($7 million) and Trumaine Johnson ($72.5 for five years) who were signed for nearly $80 million have played more like $80,000.

Jamal Adams has had his moments, but he also has been caught plenty of times. Maybe injured Marcus Maye could have solidified them better.

The Bowles era overall will end ironically in the hands of the Patriots next Sunday. And you know Bill Belichick will have the peddle down to the floor for the first half.

  Change some players. Change the discipline. Change the culture.

Finish some games for Darnold and the offense. They deserve better.

About the Author

Jeff Moeller

Jeff Moeller has been covering the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL and college football and basketball as well as high school sports on a national and local scene for the past 39 years. He has been a Jets and Giants beat reporter for the past 13 years.

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