It could be bye for Todd Bowles and/or perhaps some of his coaches, too.
This is not the way Bowles, his staff or the Jets wanted to go into their bye week. They were humiliated by the previously offensively challenged Bills, 41-10, on Sunday at MetLife Stadium. The Jets put up no resistance and head into the bye with a 3-7 record after four straight losses.
This was the kind of performance that gets coaches fired. The defense was awful, the offense was extremely inept and the team didn’t compete overall.
“We didn’t coach well in any aspect of the game,” Bowles said. “We didn’t play well in any aspect of the game. Everything that could have went wrong went wrong.”
Jets ownership was looking for progress this season after back-to-back 5-11 finishes under Bowles. Instead, this team has taken steps backward the last several weeks. In-season coaching changes are rare, but it wouldn’t be surprising if there was some sort of shake-up.
Chairman Christopher Johnson did not stop to talk to reporters seeking comment about Bowles’ job. Johnson just said “no” and waved his hand before walking off.
Bowles said he has a good relationship with Johnson and that they speak on Mondays.
“I don’t worry about my job,” he said. “I don’t talk about my job. I just try to get to the next game.”
The Jets were booed loudly by their fans less than a minute into the game. That’s when they gave up their first touchdown, as the Bills needed only two plays to go 75 yards.
The booing was just getting started, as was the Jets giving up touchdowns. They allowed four in the first half as the Bills took a 31-3 lead.
The Bills (3-7) aren’t the Rams or Saints. They have the worst offense in the league. Before scoring 41 points against the Jets, they had managed only 46 points in their previous six games combined. The Bills had scored one touchdown in their previous three games and three in their previous six, but they produced five on Sunday, leaving the Jets’ defense embarrassed.
“Hell, yeah,” cornerback Morris Claiborne said. “That’s the first time I felt like somebody has really just smacked us, and we didn’t do nothing about it.”
The Bills were led by newly signed quarterback Matt Barkley, who hadn’t played an NFL game since 2016 but had the offense humming. He went 15-for-25 for 232 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions.
Robert Foster, just called up from Buffalo’s practice squad, caught three passes for 105 yards. LeSean McCoy rushed for 113 yards and two touchdowns as the Bills totaled 451 yards of offense.
“I’m very shocked,” linebacker Avery Williamson said. “It’s pretty mind-blowing for us, for our defense to give up that many points. It hurts your pride.”
The offense was just as bad.
Playing without Sam Darnold, who was out with a strained foot, the Jets experienced the same offensive issues with Josh McCown running the team. This does not reflect well on coordinator Jeremy Bates, whose offense hasn’t been able to get anything going for four weeks.
The Jets had one yard of total offense in the first quarter. They had four straight three-and-outs to start the game and didn’t record their first first down until 7:15 remained in the half.
It took a 55-yard field goal by Jason Myers as time expired in the half for the Jets to get on the board. At that point, the Bills had 16 first downs to the Jets’ four. Isaiah Crowell’s 5-yard run in the third quarter was the Jets’ first touchdown in two games.
The Bills played carefree and took risks and the Jets played tight, predictable, ineffective football. McCown was 17-for-34 for 135 yards and threw two interceptions as the Jets finished with 199 yards of offense.
“We stunk it up as coaches,” Bowles said. “We stunk it up as players.”
The Jets were outclassed by the Bills right from the very first play from scrimmage. Barkley completed a 47-yard pass to Foster as the Bills went right at cornerback Trumaine Johnson, who was playing for the first time since Week 4. On their next play, McCoy scored on a 28-yard run.
The Bills went ahead 14-0 on their third series. The drive was extended when Buffalo converted a fake punt on fourth-and-6, and the Bills scored when tight end Jason Croom recovered Zay Jones’ fumble after a 10-yard reception to the 1.
Adding insult to insult, the Bills’ third touchdown was a 7-yard pass to tackle Dion Dawkins that made it 24-0 with 7:58 left in the half. The 6-5, 320-pound Dawkins, who had just been announced as an eligible receiver, was wide open in the end zone.
“We didn’t come to play today,” Claiborne said. “This is one of the first times I can honestly say someone came in and just whooped us, and we kind of laid down to it.”
The Jets went more than six quarters and 22 possessions without scoring a TD before Isaiah Crowell reached the end zone in the third quarter of Sunday’s game. Breaking down their offensive ineptitude on those possessions:
3 Field goals
1 Missed FG
1 End of game