The Todd Bowles “Go For It Guide” – Presented By Dick Curl

Joe Caporoso with a “Go For It” game management guide for New York Jets HC Todd Bowles, brought you to by Dick Curl

New York Jets Head Coach Todd Bowles had an encouraging rookie season. Year two? Well, let’s just say it has not progressed in the right direction so far. Part of the problem is Bowles’ struggles with game management, namely when to go for it, when to punt, when to use timeouts, when to challenge and when not to kick field goals.

Fortunately, at Turn On The Jets we have consulted with Jets time management legend, DICK CURL…AKA “The Guru Of The Clock.” AKA “Grandfather Clock.” to craft the Todd Bowles “GO FOR IT” Guide! 

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DO NOT PUNT: When you are trailing by double digits with less than 8 minutes to play, ESPECIALLY when you have 4th and short around midfield. You do not want to be in the history books for this reason. Remember, Todd your defense is not that good and even if it was, you are probably only gaining 20-30 yards with that punt.

DO NOT PUNT: When you are well inside the 50 yard line at ANY point of the game. You had a 4th and 3 from the Kansas City Chiefs 42 yard line and decided to punt. When it was all said and done, you picked up 25 yards. NOT IDEAL! It is worth betting on your offense to gain three yards and showing a little confidence in your team, rather than putting the opposing offense two 12 yard completions on Darrelle Revis on two straight plays away from being right back where they started.

Besides, did you see your gunners attempting to down punts last week? The offense is almost always going to be starting at the 20 yard line.

DO NOT KICK FIELD GOALS: Inside the 5 yard line. You did this against Cincinnati and it was blocked. This is the football gods chastising you for being so conservative. If you cannot convert on 4th and goal from the 4 yard line or in, you don’t deserve to win.

DO NOT KICK FIELD GOALS: When you have 4th and 1 from the 6 yard line with 3 minutes left like you did against the Bengals, even though you were down by 1 point. Go for it! Run more clock. Score a touchdown so the Bengals need to go the length of the field to win and not just drive to the 25 yard for the game winning kick, with no time for you to drive back down the field. Even if they stop you, theoretically you can force a 3 and out and get great field position with plenty of time left to kick your beloved field goal.

TO RECAP: Generally, STOP punting inside the 50 yard line. STOP kicking field goals on 4th and 1 or 4th and goal inside the 5 yard line. Play aggressive. Stop playing not to lose.

TOUCHDOWN MATH: 

  • 6 + 1 = 7 (when you kick a PAT)
  • 6 + 2 = 8 (when you run an offensive play from the 2 yard line)
  • 7 + 7 = 14
  • 8 + 8 = 16

You want to make your opponent be down by 7 points when possible or multiples of that number. If you go up 36-24 after a touchdown, like you did vs. Buffalo, might as well go for 2 points so you have a full 14 point lead, especially in the 4th quarter. There is no difference in being up 12 or 13 points then, make everybody’s life a little less stressful and go for the 14 point lead.

TIMEOUTS: They are important! Cherish them! Cherish them like a pack of Chips Ahoy. Cherish them like your first Gladys Knight album. Don’t use them in the first quarter or third quarter. Save them for the hopefully close fourth quarters when Brandon Marshall needs to slide to catch an errant Ryan Fitzpatrick pass and is unable to get out of bounds.

CHALLENGES: Designate somebody upstairs to tell you when you have zero chance of winning one and to remind you when it is actually worthwhile to risk a timeout. Let’s not challenge spots you have zero chance of winning or anything where “inconclusive evidence” is going to be an easy cop out for the refs.

Finally, Dick Curl is still out there, somewhere. He last coached in 2010 for the St. Louis Rams so maybe it isn’t too late or maybe, like all of us, you should find a Dick Curl of your own. Also follow this.

Photo Credit: NewYorkJets.com

Note: We didn’t ACTUALLY talk to Dick Curl…yet. 

Author: Joe Caporoso

Joe Caporoso is the Owner and EIC of Turn On The Jets. His writing has been featured in the New York Times, Huffington Post, MMQB and AdWeek. Caporoso played football his entire life, including four years at Muhlenberg as a wide receiver, where he was arguably the slowest receiver to ever start in school history. He is the EVP of Content at Whistle Sports