The Jets got crushed on Monday Night 41-10 by the Indianapolis Colts. But it wasn't so much the game itself as much as the full display of a lack of effort on the part of the Jets that was so disturbing on Monday night. So disturbing that many are wondering if Todd Bowles is the right man for this job.
The Jets never tired on Monday. Colts wide receivers like T.Y. Hilton and tight end Dwayne Allen were open all day, and in some cases, so wide open that the closest defender was at least five yards away. Andrew Luck, who has been beaten to smithereens this season with sacks, was only touched once by the Jets defense. Frank Gore who has looked older with each passing game, looked spry on Monday night.
And don't forget the Jets lackluster offense. Ryan Fitzpatrick was plan awful. He was 5-of-12 for 81 yards and a pick. The man who single-handedly held the Jets hostage during the offseason over a contract dispute, piloted the Jets into the 2017 off-season, and with it, piloted his Jets career, and possibly his NFL career into oblivion.
It was ugly. And a lot of blame this week has fallen on the shoulder's of head coach Todd Bowles. Bowles was even quoted twice this week as saying he is not worried about his job security, and understands that NFL coaches are always under an intense microscope.
However, when you are coaching in New York City, especially a franchise that hasn't won a championship in nearly 50 years, intense microscope isn't the half of it. Bowles is on a volcano and it is about erupt.
To be fair, Bowles and GM Mike Maccagnan under normal circumstances should be allowed some wriggle room here, and be allowed to come back for a third season to prove they can rebuild the team. But here lays the problem. Both men, especially Maccagnan, came to New York under the guise they could have a "competitive rebuild" of this team. Maccagnan frivolously spent Woody Johnson's money on bringing back Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie, two players whom the previous GM, John Idzik got rid of because of many of the same reasons we see now -- age and price tag. They also threw big money at Brandon Marshall and Ryan Fitzpatrick to speed up the rebuild.
In economic terms Maccagnan inherited a surplus and turned it into a deficit. The Jets are in salary purgatory once again, and many veteran players are likely on their way out, including Revis and center Nick Mangold.
Not to mention, Maccagnan's drafts have been suspect. Outside of Leonard Williams, the Jets don't have many standouts that were drafted by Maccagnan. His drafting of two quarterbacks, Bryce Petty in 2015 and Christian Hackenberg in 2016 is looking worse and worse with each passing week. Petty will get the start for the rest of the year, but he is too green in the gills for this. Word on Hackenberg is the guy can't play.
In retrospect 2015 was the worst thing that could happen to both Maccagnan and Bowles. Winning 10 games ratcheted up the expectations, and the fans demanded a winner this year.
It wasn't all that surprising that the Jets suffered a five-game losing streak in September and October, especially when one considers they had to play Pittsburgh, Kansas City, Seattle, Arizona, and Cincinnati in that stretch.
However it has been the way they have lost games this year, combined with the fact that Bowles has failed in every phase of coaching that has doomed this team in 2016. He has shown little depth and charisma when it comes to handling a locker room as Muhammad Wilkerson and Sheldon Richardson have gone rouge on him way too many times to count.
He has allowed the quarterback situation to get totally out of hand, with the latest gaff coming when he never informed Fitzpatrick that he was going to be benched for the final games of the season, regardless of the outcome of Monday night. Fitzpatrick only learned about it through the media after Colts 41 - Jets 10.
He has shown little interest in getting involved in the offense -- a trademark that buried Rex Ryan after six seasons -- instead leaving the offense in the hands of Chan Gailey. We are still waiting for Gailey to discover football in the 21st Century.
More importantly, Bowles bread and butter, his defense has been dreadful. The secondary can't stop flies as the Jets are ranked 23rd in the NFL in pass defense and 16th in the NFL in total defense. The Jets also have the second to worst turnover ratio in football at -17. Only the Jacksonville Jaguars at -18 is worse. The fact that the Jets can't stop anyone is a huge indictment of Bowles. It is even worse when ESPN cameras catch Bowles yelling at his players on the sideline and they just shrug him off.
To compare him to Rich Kotitte isn't fair. At least Bowles won 10 games in a season. Kotitte never won more than three games in a season for the Jets. But, the feeling of loss and hopelessness is reminding Jets fans of those dark days from 1995-1996 when the franchise was a combined 4-28.
So the Jets are at a crossroads. They have four games to prove that they have some semblance of pride in that locker room. They have four games to prove that they, as individual players, belong in the National Football League. They have four games to possibly prove that Todd Bowles should remain the HC of the NYJ.