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Jets Q&A: What did Jets players think of Todd Bowles punting in fourth quarter down 11?

Jets head coach Todd Bowles looks on during

Jets head coach Todd Bowles looks on during the second half of team's 31-13 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on October 9, 2016. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Gregory Shamus

Were players surprised that Todd Bowles didn’t go for it on fourth-and-2?

With the Jets trailing 24-13, he elected to punt on fourth-and-2 from their 46 with 7:36 to play. The Steelers responded with a 12-play, 79-yard drive capped by a 5-yard touchdown pass from Ben Roethlisberger to Sammie Coates with 1:46 remaining.

“It’s tough as an offensive player . . . You really want to go out there and go for it,” said wide receiver Quincy Enunwa, who had four catches for 51 yards in the Jets’ 31-13 loss Sunday at Heinz Field. “We have plays in our playbook that we might be able to do . . . I think every time, I’m always going to say it, regardless. And that’s not going against Coach, that’s just me as a competitor.”

Bowles trusted that his defense — which had pressured Roethlisberger very little all afternoon — would force Pittsburgh to go three-and-out, but that didn’t happen. Afterward, Bowles said he would punt again in a similar situation.

Brandon Marshall didn’t seem bothered by the decision. “That’s what Coach decided, that’s what he wanted to do,” he said. “ . . . We have stars on the other side of the ball . . . We’re a team. We’re never going to point fingers.”

How bad was the Jets’ defensive pressure?

According to ESPN Stats and Information, the Jets pressured Roethlisberger on only four of 48 dropbacks (8 percent). That’s their second-lowest percentage in a game in the past eight seasons.

How could the secondary get beat deep again?

It took the Steelers only three plays to go 75 yards in 1:29 and take a 7-3 lead in the first quarter. The gut punch was a 72-yard touchdown bomb from Roethlisberger to Coates, who ran by Marcus Williams and caught Roethlisberger’s pass in stride. “[He] just beat me over the top,” said Williams, who started in place of Darrelle Revis (hamstring). “I mean, he was running a go route and just got me over the top. Pretty much that’s it. We knew coming in he was pretty fast. It was my fault. I messed up bad on that play. I should have just stayed on top and kept running.”

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Jets are the first team to allow three TD passes of at least 70 yards in the first five games of a season since 2000, when the Falcons did it. The secondary has allowed TD passes of 42, 54, 71, 72 and 84 yards.

Why did backup Darryl Roberts play more than Juston Burris?

Bowles had his reasons. “Roberts had a better week of practice this week,” he said. “Roberts was coming along for a while.” He recorded two tackles and two passes defensed in his NFL debut but hurt his shoulder in the third quarter.

Are the Jets going to make a quarterback change?

Ryan Fitzpatrick played well and didn’t have a turnover, but after a third straight loss, Bowles was asked if he’d consider a quarterback shakeup. “No,” he said.

How did Austin Seferian-Jenkins do in his Jets debut?

Seferian-Jenkins caught two passes for 17 yards, but it was Brandon Bostick who caught the first pass by a Jets tight end this season.


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