New York Jets Coaching Report Card – Week 9

Clayton Smarslok with his weekly New York Jets coaching report card….

This was one of the more brutal games to watch in some time, and that is saying a lot. After the 13-6 loss against the Miami Dolphins in week nine, the Jets fall to 3-6 on the year, dropping three in a row. Frustration levels have risen to a season high from fans, players and coaches as the team looks to be fluttering. As the seats for the coaching staff are getting hotter and hotter by the minute, let’s go over how they did this past Sunday to help them get to this point.

Head Coach, Todd Bowles

After this loss against the Dolphins, Todd Bowles now has a 1-5 record against the team from South Beach over the last three seasons. For a team that wants to be competitive in the AFC, the Jets are going to have to take advantage of the divisional games that are not against Tom Brady and Bill Belichick.

Throughout the game, Todd Bowles made many decisions that just didn’t make sense to anyone but him. No decision made more of a commotion than the one to keep Spencer Long in at center for as long as he did. It was errant snap after errant snap to Sam Darnold which resulted in timing being thrown off on too many plays, including one where it got by Darnold leading to him picking it up and throwing it to the sideline right away. It was obvious how bad Long was during this game and that he was injured, so there was no reason as to why their backup Jonotthan Harrison couldn’t get in the game. Once he finally did make the change late in the game it was too little, too late.

The other main issue in this game was the his decision to finally go for it on a fourth down when there was no need to. It is unbelievable how he has yet to learn when he needs to do it when not to. In this scenario, it was 4th and 15 on their own 42 yard line down by a touchdown. He had two timeouts in his pocket in addition to the two-minute warning as there was 2:15 left in the game. The offense was having a very poor outing and the defense was looking as good as they had all season, so why would he choose to actually go for it in that situation rather than punt? Pin the Dolphins inside the 20, expect the defense to stop them (again) and get another opportunity to tie the game up.

But hey, at least he hit on a challenge call.

Grade: F

Offensive Coordinator, Jeremy Bates

It was rough sailing for the offense against the Vikings and Bears the two previous weeks, but the windy elements could have possibly been part of the reason. This time in Miami, the weather conditions couldn’t have been much better, so it should have better, right? Nope, this just happened to be the worst offensive performance all year long. The play calling was poor and got repetitive throughout the game, with a couple different plays being called with the same exact look. Certain players got too much playing time such as Eric Tomlinson and Jermaine Kearse. My rants about Tomlinson have gone on long enough, but for Kearse it was obvious he just did not want to be there. There were three plays in particular that stood out where he just showed embarrassing effort. At that point you just have to see what a Deontay Burnett can do.

If there was one thing that deserved praise was the fact that Eli McGuire got the bulk of the playing time in the backfield. He showed the ability to pick up blocks, make plays as a pass catcher and of course run the ball effectively. McGuire should be the workhorse from here on out with Bilal Powell going on IR.

Grade: D

Defensive Coordinator, Kacy Rodgers

While the offense had a terrible game, the defense picked up the slack. They did a great job against the pass and the run, only allowing 3.1 yards per play. They were able to get to the quarterback getting four sacks, stopped them on third downs going 3 for 16 and didn’t give up any touchdowns. It was a well called game from the start giving the Jets offense every chance to win the game or even get back in it at the end.

After that performance you cannot ask much more out of a defense other than maybe getting a turnover (or two because it was Brock Osweiler). They also allowed the Dolphins to convert their two fourth down attempts but considering they didn’t allow them to hurt them in the long haul they can get a pass for that.

Grade: A-

Special Teams Coordinator, Brant Boyer

The special teams had a busy day, particularly the punting unit. Lac Edwards was on the field early and often punting four times in the first five possessions, and ending with six in total. He will still struggle at times not getting enough hang time on his punts allowing the returner some running room. Their punt returner, Jakeem Grant, was able to return half of the punts for a 12.3 yard average, 19 yards being the longest. Then there was Jason Myers showed to be human missing his second field goal (50 yards) on the season, his first since week five. He was able to redeem himself with nailing a crucial 56 yarder to bring the game back to one possession.

There are some things that Boyer can get cleaned up but the unit did their jobs for the most part not really putting the offense or defense in bad positions.

Grade: B-