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Todd Bowles stands by decision to punt down 11 in fourth

PITTSBURGH, PA - OCTOBER 09:  Head coach Todd Bowles looks on during the second half while playing the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on October 9, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Pittsburgh won the game 31-13.(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Jets were trailing the Steelers by 11 points with 7:36 to play in the fourth quarter when they faced a fourth-and-two from their own 46-yard-line, leaving head coach Todd Bowles with a decision.

Bowles could punt and hope his defense got the ball back quickly or he could go for it on fourth down. Bowles opted to punt, the Steelers drove for nearly six minutes on the way to a touchdown catch by wide receiver Sammie Coates that put the finishing touches on the scoring in the 31-13 Pittsburgh victory.

” I don’t think it was a mistake,” Bowles said. “We were getting three-and-outs before that. I thought we’d get off the field. … If it was the same situation again, I’d probably punt it. You can talk hypothetically after you lose a ball game, it doesn’t help anyone. I still stand by that decision.”

Here’s the thing, though. The Jets weren’t getting three-and-outs before that. The Steelers drove into the red zone on their previous drive before Sheldon Richardson forced a Ben Roethlisberger fumble and they’d gone 80 yards in nine plays on a touchdown drive immediately before that. There were two three-and-outs earlier in the third quarter, although one of them ended with a field goal because a long Antonio Brown punt return flipped the field.

It certainly isn’t a sure thing that the Jets would have converted on fourth down, but betting on stopping a Steelers offense that moved the ball more often than not didn’t come with great odds. Bowles said it all fell on him later in his press conference, something that will lead to a lot more weight on his shoulders if future bets work out as well as this one did.

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13 Responses to “Todd Bowles stands by decision to punt down 11 in fourth”
  1. naes says: Oct 9, 2016 6:46 PM

    Maybe he wants to get fired?

  2. neil0311 says: Oct 9, 2016 6:47 PM

    The Jets doing Jets things. A new coach. Same bad play calling.

  3. MichaelEdits says: Oct 9, 2016 6:48 PM

    I’m sure the Jets’ offense will take these comments to heart.

    I’m sure the Steelers agreed with Bowles’ decision.

  4. tacowrecker says: Oct 9, 2016 6:58 PM

    Bowles is a good coach, but he’s not perfect. Jets have some personnel issues that need fixing, but he and his staff have a handle on things. Team is in a MUCH better place now than they were under Rex

  5. j0esixpack says: Oct 9, 2016 7:07 PM

    In defense of Bowles, the Jets ownership has always insisted that the Jets should emulate the Patriots and use a system QB playing system football

    In the Jets case, the entire system just sucks

  6. zeke2517 says: Oct 9, 2016 7:16 PM

    This coach’s stubbornness is becoming an issue.

  7. ryann252013 says: Oct 9, 2016 8:06 PM


    Bowles has a loaded team in Revis, Pryor, Henderson, Wilkerson, Williams, Richardson, Skrine, Gilchrist, Harris, Lee, Jenkins, Mclendon, Marcus Williams, Powell, Forte, Marshall, Decker, Clady, Carpenter, Mangold, Winters, and that Qvale kid. He refuses to play Revis up on the receiver, he plays Pryor at free safety when he is a pro bowl box safety/LB and that’s what he was lauded for coming out of college, and he completely ignores Forte as a receiver and runs him like Chris Ivory. No halftime adjustments to put his players in a position to succeed has doomed his own players. It’s completely inexcusable that he is not 3-2 at worst right now because they have had an opportunity to win every game they have played so far.

  8. styro1 says: Oct 9, 2016 8:10 PM

    That was a tough call but if it didn’t work so it was a mistake. On the road down 2 scores, at midfield with 2 yards to go you must go for it. The Jets were averaging over 4 yards per carry and they most likely would have made the 1st down.

    Success is based on making risky decisions.

  9. bmacwillconn says: Oct 9, 2016 8:14 PM

    I’m beginning to miss the days of Richie Kotite and Steve Gutman.

  10. ibillwt says: Oct 10, 2016 12:03 AM

    Could it be that Rex gets to rub nyj noses in it after all? The ultimate indignity cause Ole Rex won’t be taking the high road if he gets the upper hand.

    All that trash he talked in NY city will be recycled and crammed down the Jets throats.

  11. footballisnotthatimportant says: Oct 10, 2016 6:26 AM

    31-13 is an “opportunity to win?”


  12. jetfanfolife says: Oct 10, 2016 12:25 PM

    When nothing changes, nothing changes!

  13. pisano says: Oct 10, 2016 12:40 PM

    A real stupid move, Bowles may be looking for a job next year along with Fitz, and Geno.

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