If Todd Bowles’ job wasn’t in question before, it certainly might be now. The Jets’ 41-10 loss to the Indianapolis Colts on Monday night was the team’s fourth straight, dropping their record to 3-9.
“All of it falls on me. I’m the head coach,” Bowles said after the game. “You know your job is in jeopardy when you take one of these jobs.”
Asked if he’s concerned for his coaches who haven’t “lived up to expectations,” he replied: “I haven’t lived up to it, either. Obviously, if I haven’t lived up to it, they haven’t lived up to theirs, either. We’re all in this thing together.”
The decision to start struggling quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick led some to believe that Bowles was coaching for his NFL livelihood, and then on Monday night, he said as much. “I coached for my job the first day I took this job,” he said, matter-of-factly.
For all of his experience as a defensive-minded head coach, the Jets have underperformed on that side of the ball. Late-game collapses have come often this season, even before Monday night. The Colts (6-6) entered the game allowing an NFL-leading 35 sacks this season but the Jets’ defensive line, composed mostly of first-round picks, sacked Andrew Luck once. Defensive end Sheldon Richardson — who played 60 percent of the defensive snaps (44 of 73) — didn’t show up on the stat sheet. Defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson finished with five combined tackles.
In recent weeks, players talked of playing for pride, a signal that this would amount to a sixth straight season without a playoff berth. But in prime time against the inconsistent Colts, the Jets had little to offer.
“It’s not about playing hard for me,” the coach said. “It’s about playing hard because we want to win ballgames. It’s about playing hard for the team. Obviously, when you get your [butt] kicked like this and handed to you — I don’t care whether it’s Monday night or Sunday morning, you don’t want these kinds of games to happen. This is the first time it’s happened this year.”