Moeller: Bowles’ Downfall Was Decided By His Strength

Someone should have offered Todd Bowles a final cigarette and blind fold.

His last request again laid at the feet of his defense.

Bowles was placed before a proverbial media firing squad likely for the last time as a Jets’ head coach and dodged the bullets like he always had.

Bowles was fired tonight to no one’s surprise and he had probably know it since his team suffered a humiliating 41-10 loss at home to Buffalo.

In his final address, Bowles fittingly didn’t talk about his job security and stated that his team had a “good effort, but not good enough.”

Bowles said his team didn’t play “situational football.”

In other words, his team – like they have the past three seasons – didn’t finish.

One of the same, old problems that was never solved. The same primary problem that cost Bowles his job.

The penalties and undisciplined actions that have plagued the Jets all season weren’t the main reason they dropped a lopsided 38-3 decision to the Patriots.

The Jets had a depleted secondary with Trumaine Johnson and Darryl Roberts benched for disciplinary actions. Johnson admitted he was late to practice Wednesday, but he would not elaborate about any history with the subject.

They also couldn’t consistently move the football and produced just 239 yards of total offense. Quarterback Sam Darnold continued to show how he is the real deal, but he spent most of the day on the run.

“We moved the ball down the field at times, but we couldn’t finish,” said quarterback Sam Darnold, who struggled with a 16-for-28, 167-yard, four-sack afternoon. “We didn’t finish.

“Offensively, it was embarrassing.”

Rookie defensive lineman Henry Anderson had a productive season with a season-high seven sacks. He did, however, make a late hit on Tom Brady and kept an eventual scoring drive alive.

The Jets were a far cry away from the 16 penalties that cost them the Green Bay game the previous week.

“It’s frustrating,” said Anderson. “we have played some good football and had some close games, but we just couldn’t pull them out. We had too many self-inflicted wounds.”

So true.

Too many wounds, too many mistakes, too many lackluster efforts, too many incomplete games.

Not enough answers.

Players openly expressed their love for their coach, but they didn’t do enough for him.

Bowles will walk out of Florham Park with $8 million in his pocket over the next two years. He is still respected in the league and likely will land another defensive coordinator or head coach job despite his 24-40 record as the Jets’ coach.

It’s still hard to believe Bowles won only 14 games in three years after winning 10 his first season. In his defense, the Jets were in a basic rebuilding mode the past two years after the opening cast of Ryan Fitzpatrick and company couldn’t find an encore.

 To borrow a line from Shakespeare, Bowles “was hoisted on his own petard.”

In normal terms, Bowles was foiled by his strength.

 The Jets focused on primarily drafting defensively during his tenure, and it didn’t live up to expectations.

Everyone expected an aggressive tacking defense that set the stage and keep the Jets in the mix, especially after Bowes’ first year.

What they got was a franchise quarterback with budding offense and a deflated defense looking to raise its level.

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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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