FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Todd Bowles rushed back just in time to see his team get embarrassed again.
After an overnight stay in a New Jersey hospital, Bowles flew to New England on Saturday to coach the Jets against the Patriots from the sideline. But what he witnessed was more of the same ills that have plagued them all season.
There was no pass rush, no running game and no decent quarterback play from either option that took the field. And unlike their coach, the Jets put up little fight in a 41-3 loss at Gillette Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
After Bowles suffered what initially appeared to be symptoms of a heart attack Friday morning at the Jets’ facility — including chest and back pain — it was determined that he was dealing with kidney and gall bladder stones that haven’t passed.
“I’m OK,” he said after his team dropped to 4-11. “Chest was hurting, kidney stones, gallbladder, gallstones, got stuck in the pipe. A lot of pain, and kind of went from there. Guess I’ll get something done after the season.”
But despite being in excruciating pain, Bowles was medically cleared by doctors and flew Saturday morning to join the Jets at the team hotel.
But the Jets’ anemic offense was out of sync from the start. Starter Bryce Petty went 0-for-3 with an interception and two sacks before leaving the game with a left shoulder injury. His replacement, Ryan Fitzpatrick (8-for-21, 136 yards and two interceptions), couldn’t generate a spark either.
The three interceptions and Khiry Robinson’s fumble set up three touchdowns and a field goal for New England.
“It’s inexcusable,” Bowles said of the Jets’ performance. “We can’t turn the ball over, whether it was Bryce or whether it was Fitz. When you start with four turnovers . . . you don’t give yourself a chance.”
The Jets escaped with a 26-20 overtime victory over the Patriots in Week 16 at MetLife Stadium last season, but Saturday’s contest mirrored their 45-3 debacle against Tom Brady & Co. in Week 13 of the 2010 season, when Rex Ryan was their coach.
“To get embarrassed the way we did is never fun, not just as a football player but as a man,” Fitzpatrick said, adding that “there just wasn’t a whole lot of confidence out there today as we started losing, and that goes for everybody.”
The Jets escaped being shut out for the first time since 2014 (against the Chargers) when Nick Folk kicked a 29-yard field goal with 6:16 remaining. They trailed 41-0 at the time.
Meanwhile, the AFC East champion Patriots improved to 13-2 and moved a step closer toward clinching the No. 1 seed in the AFC and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.
The Jets’ latest lopsided loss — which came on the heels of being blown out by the Dolphins, 34-13, last week at MetLife Stadium — undoubtedly will warm the proverbial hot seat currently under Bowles, who went 10-6 in his first season. But Brandon Marshall, who caught two passes for 28 yards before leaving late in the game with a left hip injury, defended his coach.
“It’s like, when it rains, it pours,” said Marshall, who last scored a touchdown on Nov. 27 against the Patriots. “It doesn’t mean that we don’t have players, it doesn’t mean that our coaches are terrible. It just means that it’s not your season.”
But mistakes and busted assignments have been an issue all season, and Saturday was no different.
Things quickly went off the rails with Petty’s poor passing early, Robinson’s lost fumble (which resulted in Petty’s injury when he tackled Malcolm Butler) and the defense giving way.
Brady threw three touchdown passes in the first half en route to his 204th victory, the most of any quarterback in NFL history. LeGarrette Blount added a pair of short touchdown runs.
“We got beat today. We got embarrassed. But there aren’t quitters in this locker room,” Fitzpatrick said.
The Jets may not be quitters, but they showed far less heart than their coach did.
According to Marshall, “a lot of guys” were “frightened” by Bowles’ health scare. “No matter the circumstances, no matter the odds, you just want to fight,” he added of Bowles’ determination to make it back. “ . . . So it’s inspiring.”
Notes & quotes: Austin Seferian-Jenkins suffered a hamstring injury. Leonard Williams (chest), Sheldon Richardson (back) and Bilal Powell (knee) all returned to action.