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Jets Q&A: Why didn't Todd Bowles challenge spot on potential safety?

Head coach Todd Bowles of the New York

Head coach Todd Bowles of the New York Jets looks on against the Minnesota Vikings at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Credit: Jim McIsaac

Copeland made a great play to sack Cousins for a 13-yard loss, but Bowles said Cousins was in the grasp and down at the 1. Fans at the game and watching on television thought it was a safety, though. Bowles twice looked as if he were going to throw the red challenge flag onto the field, but he refrained both times.

“Once you watch the replay, he was in the grasp,” Bowles said. “That’s just like forward progress for a quarterback. Once they get their hands on him, that’s going to the spot. That’s not going to carry over in the end zone. They came back and said the same thing, so we were right doing it.”  

Why didn’t Bowles call a timeout near the end of the first half after the Vikings failed to convert a first down?

This was poor clock management and strange decision- making. The Jets needed to be more aggressive here. But Bowles said the Jets were getting the ball back to start the second half and he seemed to be hoping that the wind would stuf the Vikings’ field-goal try. He wanted the timeouts available for when they got the ball back.

Bowles could have, and should have, called timeout after Stefon Diggs caught a 7-yard pass on third-and-11 from the Jets’ 34 with just over 90 seconds left. The Vikings kicked the field goal. The Jets got the ball back at their own 32 with 42 seconds left, ran two plays and lost yardage.

“We had the ball [to start] the second half,” Bowles said. “We thought if he missed the field goal, we had time because we had our timeouts. We did have time, but we didn’t make enough plays.”

Why did Bowles decline the penalty on the Vikings in the red zone in the third quarter?

He didn’t want to give them another down.

The Jets came up with a stop on first-and-goal from the 11, but the Vikings were called for an ineligible-receiver penalty.

It would have been first-and-15 if the Jets accepted it, but Bowles declined, and Latavius Murray scored on an 11-yard run on second down.

“We had them on second down,” Bowles said. “We were looking for a pass. It would have been the same consequences trying to get them off the field as opposed to giving them an extra down down there.”  

Are the Jets concerned about the injuries to Bilal Powell and Doug Middleton?

Bowles said he is, as neither one finished the game and both have to undergo tests. Middleton suffered shoulder and pectoral injuries and Powell hurt his neck.

The Jets are shorthanded on both sides of the ball. They’re down three players in the defensive backfield as it is. Middleton was starting at safety for Marcus Maye, who has a broken thumb.

They also have issues at wide receiver. Rookie running back Trenton Cannon was their leading receiver with four catches for 69 yards. Quincy Enunwa (ankle) will miss at least two more weeks and the Jets just cut Terrelle Pryor (groin) to make room for Deontay Burnett.

Bowles said the Jets might not look to sign anyone else. “We’ll see if everyone is healthy,” he said. “I think we have enough capable bodies right now.”

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