To no surprise, Todd Bowles was again asked Monday about his clock management in the final minutes of Sunday's loss to New England. And his answer was still the same.
No, the Jets coach doesn't regret saving all three of his timeouts during the Patriots' final touchdown drive.
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With 5:32 remaining, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady threw a 4-yard pass over the middle to Rob Gronkowski, followed by a no-huddle pass to Aaron Dobson for 7 yards. The Patriots went no-huddle again on the next play and Brady hit Danny Amendola on a 13-yard completion.
The passes came in rapid succession. And with 3:44 on the clock, Brady found another open target. On first-and-10 from the Jets' 44, Julian Edelman hauled in an 8-yard catch to put New England at the Jets' 36.
"It was second-and-2," Bowles said on a conference call with reporters Monday. "They had just got a first down. You can't call a timeout on a first down and if we got them at about [second-and-]4 or 3 . . . we would have called the timeout. But at second-and-2, had they got the first down, we'd have wasted one then."
Bowles was later asked about his timeout strategy during his weekly radio spot on the "Michael Kay Show."
"If we got them to second-and-long, that's one thing," the coach said on air. "But second-and-short and they get the first down, if we use our timeouts, we don't even get a chance to kick a field goal or onside kick. We were waiting for the right situation to try to call them but it's hard to call them on first-and-10 and second-and-short."
Bowles noted that he has confidence in his defense, but the unit failed to stop Brady on the previous completions and "it's not like we were trying to stop the run, we were trying to stop a pass," the coach said, "and with the people they had in there, they had, like, four wideouts and one tight end. So we hadn't stopped them the first two or three times, so we were trying to stop them on second-and-short and get us to third down, we would have called one. But either way, it's hindsight. I don't second-guess that."
And neither do his players.
"That's above my pay grade," quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick said when asked about Bowles' decision not to call timeout. "We're out there to play and those are all Coach's decisions and we're going to stand behind him 100 percent with that."
Said Darrelle Revis: "I don't know if a timeout should have been called or not, that's Coach's call. He has tough decisions . . . With the game plan, we felt very confident coming into the game. These games that come down to the wire, come down to making a play. Down the stretch they made a couple more plays than we did."