BERGEN COUNTY, N.J.- As a head coach in the National Football League, you need to produce positive results… especially in this town. The honeymoon is over. The time has come for the New York Jets to fire Head Coach Todd Bowles.
Bowles’ fate should not be predicated on whether or not the New York Jets defeat the bottom-feeding 2-7 Buffalo Bills in week 10 of the already too-far-gone 2018 NFL season.
- Bowles’ overall lifetime record as Jets’ head coach: 23-34.
- Bowles’ challenge win-loss record as Jets’ head coach: 9-18.
- Bowles has never made the playoffs as a head coach.
The Jets selected a franchise quarterback, who was number one on their draft board, third-overall in the 2018 NFL Draft after finishing the 2017 campaign at 5-11. To secure that third pick, to the Indianapolis Colts, they relinquished their #6 overall pick (2018), two 2018 second-round picks (#37 and #49 overall), and a 2nd round (2019) pick. That’s a ton of stock (for a team with many holes to plug) to invest in a quarterback that has regressed this season due to how he is being coached.
Drafting Darnold a turning point in Jets’ history?
— NFL (@NFL) May 9, 2018
Not quite… yet.
The fact of the matter is that the Jets should have let Bowles find his own way home from Miami on Sunday. The Jets scored a season-low six points and Darnold threw a season-high four interceptions (including a pick-six as the Jets were trying to mount a fourth quarter comeback). The Jets called upon kicker Jason Myers to hit a fifty-yard field goal earlier in the game (he missed). Why? Because the offense was, and has been, anemic.
After a brutal loss to the Miami Dolphins on Sunday, one in which Darnold completed more touchdown passes to Miami (1) than his own team (0), the rookie told the media that he is playing “stupid football“. Unintelligent football falls on the shoulders of the coaching staff not adequately preparing a twenty-one year-old quarterback. Read between the lines: his mistakes were of the worst kind: mental, not physical.
Bowles says he’s “very concerned” about the lack of production by the offense the past three games. “We’ve got to find a way to execute and get it right.” #Jets
— Dennis Waszak Jr. (@DWAZ73) November 5, 2018
I would have chosen the word “alarmed” since the team is averaging 251 yards and 11 points per game in that span. While the Saints are working out veteran receivers Brandon Marshall and Dez Bryant this week, the Jets seemingly have not done anything to rectify their poor offensive production rather than cut a veteran wide receiver in a week where they desperately needed one (injuries to Quincy Enunwa and Robby Anderson). In fact, on Sunday, they elected to start a center with a dislocated finger on his snapping hand rather than start his backup- and even kept him in after a few bad snaps throughout the course of the game. The Jets made that change late in the fourth quarter. Where is the logic in that?
Not only have the Jets been bad, but they’ve been bad in a division with arguably the most consistently good team in football history: the Tom Brady/Bill Belichick led New England Patriots. The Jets have finished out of last place in the AFC East only once under Bowles: his first year. The argument could be made that in that year, much of the team was in-tact from the prior regime (former Head Coach Rex Ryan and former GM John Idzik), so that is why the Jets could have finished in a place other than last.
The game of football, at the professional level, is evolving before our very eyes. Whether you like it or not, the NFL has taken a turn ala the NBA where the excitement over scoring more points defeats the excitement over a staunch defensive competition. The trend of the rules and penalties being changed and new ones put in place in recent years reflects that. Therefore, “defensive minded” head coaches should (and will) meet the same fate as the dinosaurs: extinction. Those coaches would be better served as defensive coordinators, not as head coaches.
The classic example of a prototypical new-age head coach is thirty-two year old Los Angeles Rams’ Coach, Sean McVay. Like the Rams have Jared Goff, the Jets have their franchise quarterback. They just need to find themselves their own ‘McVay’ in order to be relevant again.