Todd Bowles could be in serious trouble after the New York Jets lost to the Cleveland Browns, a game in which the Jets squandered a 14-point lead amid a series of mistakes.
The Jets lost 21-17 to the Browns, giving Cleveland their first win since December of 2016. After the game much of the blame fell on head coach Todd Bowles, with New York Post columnist Mike Vaccaro saying the only thing Bowles did right was take the blame after the loss.
“This whole calamity falls square on the coach’s shoulders, all of it, from the scared-of-their-own-shadow game plan to the surplus of penalties that sabotaged them up and down the entirety of the game, up to the carefree culture that pervades this team and allows two game-changing lapses in judgment and decorum,” Vaccaro wrote.
“We keep hearing these will be eradicated from this franchise on Bowles’ watch.”
The Jets are now well into the second year of a planned rebuild under Bowles’ tenure, and the team was expected to begin showing improvement. Instead, they have appeared to regress this season and looked flat in the loss to the Jets. After starting his tenure with a 10-6 record and reaching the doorstep of the playoffs before being eliminated in Week 17, Bowles has since gone 11-24, NBC Sports noted.
The low point appeared to be on Thursday night, with the Jets falling apart after jumping out to a 14-0 lead as rookie quarterback Sam Darnold struggled.
Bowles was also blamed for the mental breakdowns for the Jets, which included a penalty for running back Isaiah Crowell who celebrated a touchdown by crouching down and pretending to wipe his backside with the football.
“It was inexcusable,” Bowles said after the game (via NorthJersey.com). “We talked about it and it will never happen again.”
The Jets came into the season hoping to compete for a playoff spot, even if they were not yet ready to unseat the New England Patriots as kings of the AFC East. While it’s not clear if Bowles will be in any immediate danger of losing his job — especially with a rookie quarterback at the helm — many believe that may be yanked if the team cannot sustain improvement throughout the season.
After losing to the Browns, Todd Bowles and the New York Jets have another challenge ahead. After a 10-day layoff following Thursday night’s game, the Jets travel to Jacksonville to take on a Jaguars team that was one quarter from reaching the Super Bowl last year and has already defeated the New England Patriots this season.