Todd Bowles stands by decision to punt down nine late in Sunday’s loss

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Based on the makeup of his roster, Jets coach Todd Bowles is going to face some tough decisions during the 2017 season and he faced questions about one of the ones he made in Sunday’s loss to the Bills.

Facing a fourth-and-8 from his own 44-yard-line, Bowles elected to punt the ball away while down 21-12 with four minutes to play and said after the game that the rationale was to force a three-and-out while using timeouts. Bowles stuck by the call in the face of more questions on Monday, saying it was an easy decision based on the situation.

“If we got a little closer, I might have went for it, but fourth-and-8 is a tough pill to swallow right there,” Bowles said, via Rich Cimini of “We had three timeouts and we were trying to win field position. There’s not much to talk about there.”

The decision didn’t work out as Tyrod Taylor ran nine yards for a first down after a pair of Mike Tolbert runs burned two Jets timeouts.

That wasn’t a particularly surprising outcome as the Jets had already given up nearly 400 yards to the Bills, including 18 of at least 10 yards. The Jets offense averaged under four yards a play over the course of the game, so the options available weren’t particularly appealing on either side for a coach who is likely to find himself in that situation a few more times before the year is out.

10 responses to “Todd Bowles stands by decision to punt down nine late in Sunday’s loss

  1. Not a bright game manager. The reason it was a nine point game is that he tried to tie it when going for two with 17 minutes remaining. He isn’t the only lunk head to get goofy over that decision way too early. And 9 times out of ten the decision is made to look stupid, no one knows whether the two pointer extra will even have meaning by the time things play out.

  2. Bowles was playing not to lose in the most conservative style, which to be fair a lot of coaches do. The coaches that do this don’t like to take a big risk.

    Which 4th and 8 from your own 44 is when your offense is so bad. But given how bad the Jets were playing you might as well have gone for it because even if you got the 3 and out they weren’t likely to get two scores in what little time would have been left. This might have gotten them a TD in the end if they were lucky, and then an onside kick and who knows?

  3. Trying to think of any football game decision he’s made that shows he’s a good HC. In game call that turned the tide, something that wasn’t conventional, something that didn’t seem obvious at the time and worked.

    There are none.

  4. It was a bad decision, made worse by him chasing points by going for 2 in the 3rd quarter. If he kicks the extra point they are only down one score (8 points), since they missed the 2 pt conversion he has to go for it on 4th and 8 with only 4 minutes left to go. It is a tough pill to swallow, I’ll give him that, but the odds of converting a 4th and 8 have to be substantially better than punting, making Buffalo go 3 and out, getting the ball back with about 2 minutes and zero timeouts left, scoring, onside kicking, recovering and scoring again!

    Bowles is in over his head…there is a consistent lack of awareness on how to handle in game situations, adjust to opponents and manage the clock during games. In between games he acts like the backup QB is some huge secret he cannot reveal because….uh, reasons?? I don’t think anyone could make the Playoffs with this roster, but he is not the Head Coach who is going to turn around a franchise either.

  5. The obvious follow-up question was how he planned on getting the ball back if his defense did stop them three-and-out, they burned their three timeouts, they went down and scored, and then the Bills got the ball back after that. Then what?

    I doubt he feels there’s a higher percentage of getting an onside kick than there is of converting a 4th and 8. But there’s probably a good chance he wasn’t able to play out these possibilities in real time.

    Like many other franchise is going through transition, he is simply holding the clipboard until the team becomes good, at which point they’ll find a real head coach to lead it.

  6. Someone also has to remind him that if he goes for it and fails, all his defense has to do is hold the Bills to a field goal and he is still down 2 TDs.

  7. I just don’t know about Bowles. This is not the first time he has opted to punt and hope the defense holds. I mean, he did it vs the Steelers last year–and we had not stopped their passing offense all game. So why in the 4th quarter would the defense suddenly produce a stop?

    Ok, so he makes very conservative decisions, thats one thing. But the defense did not look good yesterday-they could not stop McCoy and even Clay went wild. Its only one game but if the Jets can’t play defense with the talent they have, Bowles won’t be back in 2018. And Maybe he shouldn’t.

    We won’t be able to play any offense, I know that, but if they have enough defensive talent to be average. They gave up 158 rushing yards!

  8. This was a critical game for the Jets—a loss to the Bills would jeopardize the number 1 pick. Bowles is in a tough position because being successful is actually being unsuccessful in the eyes of Jets management. Roger, integrity of the game??

  9. toocoofoo84 says:
    September 11, 2017 at 7:49 pm
    Jets fans are upset for what reason? You do want the number 1 pick right?

    Is that pick being made by the same people that thought Bowles was the right choice for HC?

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