The New York Jets blew out Matt Patricia and the Detriot Lions in Week One. Then reality set in and things came crashing down, or rather a Dolphin’s team came crashing onto the scene, with a Jets team still buzzing off the Week One high. After a shake off of that game, it was onto the Browns who were favored to win and actually won thanks in part to the Jets knocking out Tyrod Taylor and being ill-prepared for Baker Mayfield. And on Sunday the Jets will take on the Jaguars at home in Metlife.
This will be another interesting game to watch since the Jags are coming off a home loss to the Titans who are burnout and hurt in a lot of positions including the QB position. But all of this loss (even though it is only two) begs the question:
Whose fault is it?
As every NFL fan knows, the New York teams including the MLB, NHL and MLS squads, have it the roughest because of the pickle these teams always get placed in and how the NY media will hype up or destroy a team. The same can be said about the fans. Either you are winning and are on top or you’re losing and getting trashed at by your own fans.
With the Jets, the latest poll has it that Coach Todd Bowles should be fired for all this losing. Yes or No? So who is to blame? It certainly isn’t the NFL for scheduling these teams against the Jets because the Jets have the fourth easiest schedule coming into the season which that could change. Is it Sam Darnold’s fault? Maybe Todd Bowles and his coaching staff?
Actually, it is both.
Here is what I mean, Sam Darnold is the rookie QB that the Jets drafted number 3 overall after giving up a lot of picks. He is the starting QB with Uncle Josh playing QB coach with OC Jeremy Bates. This is a sore subject for a lot of people in the Jets nation because while they all cheered for him when he was selected, people like myself were still getting over the fact the Browns took Mayfield instead of Darnold. And that killed inside. No hatred for Darnold, I’m just not a fan like everyone and like everyone else in this fanbase, it will rock and roll while riding this roller coaster either to a franchise QB or another trip to the draft and another QB added to the roundup of busts that the Jets have collected.
Darnold has been impressive to say something. He has thrown 93 times and only 56 have connected for 701 total yards notching 3 TDs and 5 INTs. And while that is decent enough it was against some pretty impressive defenses so please give the rookie some slack. But what has not been impressive is the stat line amongst the wide receivers.
So far Quincy Enuwa has been king, posting up 17 touches on 212 yards. Then Terrelle Pryor on 8 touches for 158 yards. Robby Anderson has something at 6 touches for 90 yards. And Jermaine Kearse has no love with 4 touches on 34 yards. Robby is an outside the number speedster, Kearse and Q play the slot game which seems to be Sam Darnold’s favorite place to throw it too and Pyror flexes between both. Darnold barely throws it downfield to Robby so the speed is there just not being utilized.
And in the slot has been the Q show with special guest Pryor and Kearse and that is a big no-no. While it is nice to have a safety blanket, a rookie QB can not keep throwing it to the one person and has to spread the love around and be a field general type QB every once in a while. Maybe it is Sam playing it too safe or maybe it new OC/QB Coach Jeremey Bates type of play calling.
Which brings me to the other part of both. Todd Bowles and Jeremy Bates and the rest of the Jets coaching staff have a problem.
No, I am not saying fire Bowles and every two-bit bandwagon fan can calm down. Bowles has been slipping on some of the duties but he has been doing a fine job. The problem on this staff lies with his DC and OC, Kacy Rodgers and Jeremy Bates for this part of the problem.
On the Defense side, Rodgers is letting too many penalties be committed like last year. And these are stupid penalties too, offsides and PI. He is losing control of his players and that has never been a good sign. The most recent example of this is in the loss to the Browns. CB Parry Nickerson, who is the newest addition via the draft, was called on a taunting call and was taken out the next play. It was shown as he was walking over to the sideline Rodgers coming over and yelling at him and he looked in another direction with a face that says leave me alone.
That is not good. Parry Nickerson is a rookie CB, drafted in the 6th round. He is acting like a 5-year veteran CB showing off his talent as to why they drafted him. The players on the defense that night go sloppy when a rookie was thrown in yet the Browns stayed tough and were able to predict Darnold which is not a good thing.
So should the Jets fire Bowles?
No, he is already guaranteed money and has been a tough and durable coach through these trying times. The Jets have talent but they fall apart whenever they face a good team, and it is not for obvious reasons. They can match and run with wide receivers and running backs and hold them down. However, they act like a child ready to be done with a test with a few questions left in the 4th quarter and hope to rush through it and be done.
They need to take the time to answer each question and do it right.
As for Sam Darnold, he is part of the problem. The Jets have speed and talent at the wide receiver position and while the O-Line can act like wet paper at times which is terrible for a rookie QB he needs to take more shots down the field and stretch it out. The Jets have a speedster on both the out route and the cross slot route. Darbold has only been hitting one of those targets. If the Jets want to win more, than these two have to come together and figure it out. Or else Sam Darnold will have to learn a new playbook under a new Head Coach, Offensive Coordinator, and Quarterback Coach.
FPC Jets managing editor Kyle Hirshkind discusses whether or not Todd Bowles should be fired on his latest episode of the No Penalty Podcast: