Bowles admits Jets should have gone for two after late touchdown


With four minutes left in last night’s game, the Jets scored a touchdown to take a 36-24 lead. The smart thing to do would have been to go for two to try to extend the lead to 14. But the Jets kicked the extra point to extend the lead to 37-24, meaning that the Jets would have still lost if the Bills had scored two touchdowns and two extra points.

So why did the Jets kick instead of go for two? Jets coach Todd Bowles admitted today that he screwed up and should have kept his offense on the field for a two-point conversion attempt.

“I should have. I was occupied doing something with the defense and when I turned around and looked at it, that was my bust and I’ll get better going forward,” Bowles said.

It’s a credit to Bowles that he admits his mistake, but it’s surprising that the Jets hadn’t thought through all the late-game scenarios in advance so that it wouldn’t come down to Bowles needing to make the call to go for two on the fly.

As it turned out, the Bills did score a touchdown and extra point to cut the Jets’ lead to six points, and then got the ball back for a final desperation play. If the Bills had scored a touchdown on that desperation play, we’d all be talking today about what a huge mistake Bowles made. Fortunately for Bowles, that mistake was just a footnote.

34 responses to “Bowles admits Jets should have gone for two after late touchdown

  1. That was an enormous mistake. If the Bills came back to score a touchdown, Bowles should have been fired for it. I was scratching my head. How long has this guy been coaching?

  2. As a Jets fan I’m glad Rex is gone.
    Maybe Bowles is doing a much better job bringing in good assistant coaches who can develop players better than Rex did.
    Maybe Bowles is more disciplined and helps cut down some of the dumb penalties the Jets would get (under Rex they had many too many men on the field penalties for example)

    But I’m not convinced that Bowles is a good game day coach. He’s too conservative at times, and doesn’t make half time adjustments very well.
    Hopefully he can improve.

    It’s also kind of dumb that some in the media say he’s on the hot seat if the Jets don’t do well. The Jets have a lot of rebuilding to do, and over achieved last year against weak opposition.

  3. >>>—thegreatgabbert says:
    Sep 16, 2016 7:03 PM
    That was an enormous mistake. If the Bills came back to score a touchdown, Bowles should have been fired for it. I was scratching my head. How long has this guy been coaching?

    e’s starting his second season as head coach. He was a DC before this and didn’t have this type of responsibility. It was a mistake, but to fire him if they lost because of it is assinine. Good luck hiring a good HC if the fire Bowles over that. No good HC will come, and the’ll get another scrub and stink for another few years.

  4. I was scratching my head when it happened. The math was real simple on that one and with the couple of big scoring plays the Jets gave up last night it could easily have ended up being a huge mistake. The devil is in the details, even if Bowles was otherwise occupied, what was the rest of the staff doing? No one was screaming in his headset to get his attention? Somebody sent that kicking team out.

  5. I’m surprised that nobody on the coaching staff said hey are you sure you don’t want to go for 2 here coach? It would put us up by 14. But he is doing way better than Rex Ryan ever did

  6. I think Bowles is a really good coach. I think the Jets should stick to the 4-3 defense they move into that scheme in the red zone and lock teams down. (the chunk plays by the Bengals and Bills were from their territory) Revis, Williams, Pryor, and Gilchrist seem more tightened up in the 4-3 and stopping Big Leo, Wilkerson, Mclendon, and Richardson from getting pressure is hard to do. But Bowles is really flexible with his players and assistants and gives them freedom which is great as long as you keep a good atmosphere in the locker room. Outside of the Geno punch, Todd Bowles has done that. The playoff coaching is there but it all lays on the players.

  7. Bowles is a good coach. The Jets were much improved last year in his first year and look to be shaping up well for this season.

  8. As a Patriots fan, I think Bowles is doing a very good job and he will only get better as he learns from his mistakes.

  9. I love a coach who admits when he made a mistake. Heck, I love a human being who admits when he made a mistake. There aren’t enough of them. I’ll always be a Panthers homer, but if the Bowles-coached Jets are playing against somebody else, chances are I’ll want them to win. Decency still matters, y’all.

  10. bamboozle99 says:
    Sep 16, 2016 7:34 PM

    His assistants deserve a chunk of the blame but Bowles just owned it. Class act.

    —Am I the only one who sees it the opposite? His assistants? They don’t necessarily have the authority to call any changes on the field. I see it as Bowles didn’t have it squared away thats all. It’s just a coaching lesson and Bowles is a good coach. Just look at Andy Reid who is the definition of clock management insanity. If Bowles does it for his whole coaching career than we can talk.

  11. EBig fan of Bowles, and I think he’s doing a pretty good job with the Jesters. Much better than that loudmouth upstate ever did with them.

    That said, I’d be lying if I said it wouldn’t scare the crap out of me to hear my coach admit a mistake like this. It’s the NFL, and as mentioned in the article above, that senario should have been covered and prepared for well before the game started. He’s gotta do a better job in his preparation. Mistakes like this just can’t happen at this level, the league is way too unforgiven.

  12. No. If it isn’t immediately necessary, there’s no need to go for two. Much more often, a coach goes for two in a situation like this, misses, and then that comes back to bite the team.

    Here’s an example. The Bengals – my hometown team – played the Dolphins some years ago. In the fourth quarter, the Bengals, down 18-17, scored a touchdown to go up 23-18. They went for two in an effort to stretch the lead to seven. They missed. Miami then scored a touchdown and made the two-pointer – when missing would’ve made virtually no difference to the outcome – to go up 26-23. The Bengals then drove for a last-second 46-yard field goal try to send the game to overtime. However, if they’d just kicked that extra point after their last touchdown, this kick would’ve been for the win.

    The field goal missed, anyway. Still, that game, and several others that played out similarly, is what pops into my head every time a coach goes for two in a spot that isn’t directly deciding the game (i.e., late).

  13. Yeah whatever everyone looks smart and gets a pass after a win but the bottom line is Bowles’ talented jets team dominated both games yet narrowly escaped being 0-2 because of stupid mistakes and decisions. That’s largely on coaching and it’ll cost them soon

  14. Weird… I enjoyed football more without all this daily soap opera, one million reporters with laser beams attached to their heads bulls@#t…

  15. Bowles is one heck of a coach. By owning that decision and taking full responsibility he’s setting the right example for his players and building a culture of accountability. I’m not a Jets fan but I’ve been really impressed by him.

  16. The combo of GM/HC ( Maccagnan & Bowles ) is working and the proof is in the roster. The Jets have a good 53 and will be competitive as the QB search/development continues. While the choice to select Hackenberg may or may not work out, nobody is perfect. Bowles is willing to admit to a mistake as he learns from it. Jet fans should feel good with this combination going forward.

  17. “No. If it isn’t immediately necessary, there’s no need to go for two. Much more often, a coach goes for two in a situation like this, misses, and then that comes back to bite the team.”

    Your general background point is correct, but completely inapplicable here because the score differential was different than your example. If they missed the 2-ptr, they still lead by 12, thus still requiring two TDs by Buffalosame as settling for a 13-pt lead..

  18. I also assumed they’d go for 2 and was puzzled when the kicker trotted out. Just a brain fart I guess. Regardless, Gang Green looked good and the score isn’t an accurate reflection of the game itself.

  19. The difference between Bowles and many head coaches is that he knows he’s still young and new to head coaching and is willing to learn. It’s the guys who think once they get the job they’ve arrived that fail. He’s going to be one of the good ones as long as Jets management lets him.

  20. To be honest with you, at that point in time the Bills looked defeated, yeah they scored a meaningless TD, but it would have been an uphill task to score 2.

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