Todd Bowles is too loyal to his players

Starters change all the time in the NFL, but rarely under the Jets head coach

There's no law that says if Todd Bowles pulled Sam Darnold out of Sunday's 13-6 loss to the Dolphins that he couldn't start him this week against Buffalo.

Hockey goalies have it happen all the time when it just isn't there night.

And Sunday certainly wasn't the 21-year-old's day.

He completed only 54 percent of his passes for an average of 5.9 yards per attempt, and threw four interceptions -- the most he's ever had in a game at any level. He was sacked four times, a couple times because he held the ball too long, and was the cause of a delay of game penalty in the fourth quarter.

"I played stupid football," Darnold said Monday.

Sometimes rookies do that, and the Jets have 39-year-old Josh McCown, who they're paying $10 million this season, in case they need someone to come in in relief.

In the long run, it might benefit Darnold that he stay in the game after his pick-six, which gave the Dolphins a 10-point lead with 10:48 left in the fourth quarter. He rallied the Jets to a field goal on the next drive, but then threw two interceptions in desperation mode -- on fourth-and-15 and then fourth-and-10 on the penultimate play of the game.

It was quite tone deaf of Bowles to say the defense needs to create more turnovers after a game they allowed only six points. He's right -- the Jets haven't forced a turnover during their three-game losing streak -- but the defense isn't the reason they lost Sunday, and not the reason they lost last week in Chicago. They've scored 16 points the last two games.

If they want Darnold to learn and battle through adversity, that's fine. But let's stop what the charade that the Jets are trying to win football games. If they were, Darnold wouldn't have seen the field at all in the regular season.

Also, like we said earlier, if he lifts Darnold to allow him to regroup, he can always go back to him the next week.

Stepping away from the quarterback situation for a moment, it's absolutely appalling Bowles stayed with center Spencer Long as long as he did. And it's even more shocking that he acknowledged Jonotthan Harrison only replaced Long because Long re-aggravated his finger injury.

"He had a great week of practice and he's our starting center. So, if he was healthy enough to play, he played," Bowles said Monday. "When we saw the finger start giving him more issues than normal, we replaced him with Jonotthan. His finger got banged up again."

Anyone could see Long was having massive issues snapping the ball. So do Bowles' starters never lose their job as long as they play well in practice?

At what point does Bowles realize he needs to make a change because the players he has out there aren't doing the job?

He continually talks about execution as the reason the offense is failing. Executing a shotgun snap should be something an offense should be able to take for granted -- not something that's going to cause the face of your franchise to rush his throws, or worse, take unnecessary hits.

Last week in Chicago, Long was active but didn't play, and Bowles said after the game he was still injured and would only be used in an emergency. Huh?

Is it just because they signed Long to a four-year, $28 million deal this offseason?

Why the blind loyalty to this player?

And, we'll say it one final time, just because you bench Long to rest up/heal/take a deep breath, doesn't mean he can't start the rest of the season.

When posed with that scenario Monday, Bowles said: "I'll see where it goes. It's been thought about, but I haven't expressed it to the coaches yet. We will deal with that this week."

All talk, and no action.

(Photo credit: Tony Capobianco/Dolphins Maven)

Comments