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Todd Bowles blames ‘bonehead mistakes,’ not Jets’ effort for blowout loss

Jets head coach Todd Bowles walks off the

Jets head coach Todd Bowles walks off the field after a loss against the New England Patriots at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, Nov. 27, 2016 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac

Everyone inside 1 Jets Drive is frustrated, including owner Woody Johnson. “Everybody in the building is upset,” coach Todd Bowles said Tuesday.

A day after the blowout loss to the Colts, the coaching staff continued to search for solutions for the Jets’ spiraling season. Bowles spoke to Johnson but wouldn’t shed light on the tenor of their conversation. When asked if they discussed his future with the franchise, Bowles said: “Me and Woody talk every week like we always do.”

If Bowles’ job wasn’t in question before, it could be now. The 41-10 loss was the Jets’ fourth straight, dropping their record to 3-9 and officially knocking them out of playoff contention.

Bowles called out his team after the game for not showing “a lot of effort” and said he’d look to “play the guys that want to play.” But less than 24 hours later, his tune had changed dramatically.

“Actually, I thought the effort was a lot better, but I thought we made some bonehead mistakes that cost us,” he said, adding that he’s “not sure yet” of lineup changes. “They’ll be discussed, but I don’t know if we’ll change them.”

The Jets will look to correct their mistakes as they prepare to face the 49ers, losers of 11 in a row, Sunday in San Francisco. It will be only the second career start for Bryce Petty, who replaced Ryan Fitzpatrick in the third quarter and was named the No. 1 quarterback for the rest of the season after the game. Fitzpatrick will be the No. 2.

Barring an injury to Petty, Bowles doesn’t anticipate Christian Hackenberg playing this season. But although the rookie quarterback will remain inactive initially, that could change. “Too early to tell,” Bowles said. Asked why he didn’t make Hackenberg Petty’s backup, Bowles said: “The other guys have taken all the reps. To just throw him in there right now would be a disservice to the kid.”

Bowles said he knew for “about two or three” weeks that Petty, the Jets’ 2015 fourth-round pick, would start the final four games.

“We knew if we were out of contention and out of the running, in my mind and in my head, I told the coaches that we would give [Petty] the last quarter of the season to try to make progress and get better week by week, and we wanted to see him the last four games.”

But if they still had been in playoff contention? “Obviously, we would have stuck with Ryan,” Bowles said, “but now that we’re not in contention we want to get [Petty] some experience, so we’re going to play him a little more.”

After weeks of saying Fitzpatrick gives them the best chance to win, Bowles’ new goal is “just trying to win and it’s trying to see what I have at quarterback with Bryce.”

To some fans, the lopsided loss was an indication that Bowles — 13-15 with the Jets — had lost control of the locker room. He disagreed.

“I don’t believe I ever lost it,’’ he said. “We had a bad game, we had a terrible game. That’s without question. They have every right to think that, but I know what we have in this locker room, I know what we have in this building, so I’m OK with that.”


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