Who deserves the most blame for the loss to the Browns?
Todd Bowles put the loss on his shoulders. There was plenty of blame to go around. Let’s not forget offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates, who did not have a good night. But the team losing its “composure” as Bowles said and all the silly penalties do not reflect well on him. Ultimately the head coach needs to hold his players more accountable and demand more from them.
Trumaine Johnson’s unsportsmanlike conduct on third down essentially for taunting extended a Cleveland drive and led to the Jets getting poor field position on their next series. Morris Claiborne’s defensive holding call on the Browns’ failed two-point conversion attempt led to a second successful try was huge. Isaiah Crowell's unnecessary touchdown celebration should never happen.
The players are responsible for their actions. But Bowles needs to be tougher because for a coach who stresses discipline, his team plays with a lack of one.
Why didn’t Sam Darnold throw it to an open Quincy Enunwa on the Jets’ next to last drive?
It was the second week in a row that Darnold had Enunwa for what would have been a big play, and then threw it away both times.
Last week, it was in the end zone just before the half in the loss to the Dolphins. Darnold didn’t see Enunwa and was trying to stop the clock. This time, he saw Enunwa, but he didn’t want to get picked on third-and-10.
“I saw him,” Darnold said. “But I saw a cornerback reading my eyes. When you’re rolling back, it’s easy for those guys to come from the right side of the field and back to the middle. I felt the best thing to do was throw it away.”
Darnold converted the first down on fourth-and-10, but then he forced a pass to Jermaine Kearse – Darnold admitted as much - that was picked off by linebacker Joe Schobert with 1:21 left.
Did fatigue play a factor in the Jets’ loss?
It’s been well documented that the Jets played their third game in 11 days. Bowles said they were “gassed” in the second half. But no one wanted to use that as an excuse, and rightfully so.
The Browns were playing three games in 12 days and their two first games were mentally exhausting. But Baker Mayfield provided a huge spark and brought energy to the Browns. The Jets couldn’t raise their energy or game to match the Browns.
“It’s been a touch stretch,” Claiborne said. “We can’t complain about the three games in 11. We can’t complain about that. We got to go out and get it done, somehow, some way.
Were the Jets prepared to face Mayfield?
They said they were, but he definitely carved them up. Tyrod Taylor started the game, and the Jets kept him in check by blitzing him early and often. The biggest plays were with Taylor's feet before he left the game with a concussion. But Mayfield came in and immediately got rolling
“They were the same plays,” Bowles said. “We knew what the quarterbacks were. We knew one ran more than the other. He just did a good job and we didn’t.”
Bowles also said the momentum didn’t shift when Mayfield entered the game. Things already started to shift because of Jets penalties. Crowell and Johnson had unsportsmanlike conduct penalties within 53 seconds of each other.
“As soon as we committed those two penalties before the half we gave them life,” Bowles said. “I don’t think it had to do with the quarterback."
Claiborne put it on the defense for squandering a 14-0 lead.
"Fourteen points, that’s enough," he said. "That’s all you need your offense to do. As a defense, we didn’t get those big stops that we needed to get, when we needed to get them. That irks my nerves.”