The first quarter of the season was not what the team was expecting. However, just like the first game of that quarter, this quarter started with a bang! The 34-16 week five win over the Denver Broncos was much needed to get the team back on the right track. Here’s how the coaches graded out last Sunday.
Head Coach, Todd Bowles
Entering the game, there might not have been a time where Bowles’ seat was any hotter. They were on a three game losing streak, looking terrible in the process. After this performance, you have to give credit where credit’s due. With Kacy Rodgers out due to medical purposes, Bowles was not only the head coach but the acting defensive coordinator as well. Being put into both spots he really excelled for one of his best coached games in quite a while. The defense wasn’t put into any serious situations outside of when they went onto the field after a Bilal Powell fumble and when they were already up three scores late in the game. Bowles did a good job planning to keep Case Keenum in the pocket, where he has really struggled this season. He brought creative blitzes, especially the play where Leonard Williams got his first sack of the game. As good as his coaching was, it was making sure the players didn’t commit any dumb penalties on either side of the ball really stood out. Now for this upcoming Sunday, Bowles and company need to do what they haven’t been able to do in a long time, repeat it. Too many disappointing losses following a big win.
Offensive Coordinator, Jeremy Bates
Just like his boss, Bates was having a rough stretch to say the least. Against Denver he had a plan and it worked out phenomenally. First off, knowing the offensive line could struggle against the likes of Von Miller, Shane Ray and Shaq Barrett, Bates got the tight ends and running backs involved in blocking very often to give Sam Darnold as much protection as possible. This extra blocking ultimately helped him get one of the top playmakers on the team the ball for two deep touchdowns. The passing game looked exponentially better than the last two weeks, but the running game definitely did their job to open it up. The backs ran all over the Denver defense with the help of the offensive line bullying whoever was in front of them. Both the scheme and execution worked to perfection resulting in gaining over 500 yards of offense.
Defensive Coordinator, Kacy Rodgers
Coach Rodgers is unfortunately going through serious medical issues causing him to miss the game. Wishing him a quick recovery!
Special Teams Coordinator, Brant Boyer
It’s honestly still incredible how the unit that looked like a disaster waiting to happen in the preseason has looked like a very good one through five weeks. There were some dumb mistakes (a poor Andre Roberts decision to catch a punt) and others that shouldn’t happen (Jason Myers missed kick inside 30, Trenton Cannon returning punts *albeit due to injury*). However, it still looks good when Roberts makes up for it with a 51 yard return, Lac Edwards keeps doing what he’s doing and the coverage teams doesn’t miss tackles.