Jets fans may not be happy with Todd Bowles’ decision to punt late in the fourth quarter Sunday, but the Jets head coach does not have any second thoughts.
“None at all,” Bowles said on a conference call with reporters Monday.
The decision did not cost the Jets the game, but added to fans’ frustration with Bowles. With four minutes left, the Jets had the ball at their own 44, trailing 21-12. It was fourth-and-8 and Bowles opted to punt, trusting his defense would make a stand, rather than go for it.
“If we got a little closer, I might have gone for it,” Bowles said. “With fourth-and-8, it’s a tough pill to swallow right there. We had three timeouts. We were trying to win the field position. There wasn’t much to talk about there.”
Bowles made a similar decision last year against the Steelers. This immediately brought that decision to mind.
With a young team that is going to be an underdog in every game it plays, the argument could be made that Bowles should be more aggressive. He does not see it that way.
“I feel like I was fine yesterday,” Bowles said when asked if he needs to get more aggressive.
Bowles praised rookie safeties Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye for how they played in their debuts on Sunday. He was particularly effusive when talking about Adams, the team’s first-round pick.
Jamal AdamsGetty Images
“I thought Jamal had an outstanding game,” Bowles said. “His eyes were good, he was physical, he played smart. Minus one play, Marcus had a good ballgame as well.”
What made it an outstanding day for Adams?
“Everything he did, he did it the right way,” Bowles said. “He made tackles when opportunities presented themselves and he made the plays he was supposed to make, so he had a good ballgame.”
LB Darron Lee had a rough day in coverage. According to Pro Football Focus, he allowed a 134.7 passer rating, giving up four receptions on six targets for 54 yards and a touchdown. He was much better against the run. Bowles was not down on Lee, though.
“He had about two plays he’d like to have back, I’m sure,” Bowles said. “For the most part, he played fast and made things happen. Obviously, he had a few mistakes in there, but for the most part, I thought he was all right.”
TE Eric Tomlinson has a sprained elbow and LB Bruce Carter has a sprained ankle. Bowles said it was too soon to know if those injuries will keep them out this week.