Todd Bowles Reportedly Has 'Uphill Battle' to Save Job as Jets Head Coach

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistNovember 18, 2018

New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles answers questions during a news conference after an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills, Sunday, Nov. 11, 2018, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)
Bill Kostroun/Associated Press

The New York Jets and head coach Todd Bowles have limped to a 3-7 start, and that has left Bowles with "an uphill battle to keep his job after 2018," according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. 

Things took a turn for the worst last weekend, when the Jets were blown out by the 3-7 Buffalo Bills and their third-string quarterback Matt Barkley, 41-10. That loss "caused serious questions about whether Bowles is the man to lead it all going forward."

Per that report, Bowles is safe for the remainder of the 2018 season "in part because the Jets are now a team that embraces patient and prudent decisions and in part because there is no obvious successor in the building."

Another factor is that Bowles hasn't lost the locker room, even after the dreadful loss to Buffalo, as Rich Cimini of ESPN.com reported last week:

"Afterward, players in every corner of the locker room professed their support for Bowles. Offensive guys, defensive guys. Loud guys, quiet guys. Whether it was out of loyalty, political correctness or actual belief, they came to his defense. Yes, everybody loves Todd, but it was the ultimate mixed message, because they played like they wanted him fired."

While Bowles finds himself on the hot seat, Rapoport added that general manager Mike Maccagnan is considered "much safer" in his job security than his head coach. 

After a promising 3-3 start, the Jets have dropped four straight, while rookie quarterback Sam Darnold missed the loss to the Bills with a foot injury. That has mirrored Bowles' career in New York in general, where he went 10-6 on his first year of the job in 2015 and just 13-29 since. 

Barring a surprising turnaround from the Jets down the stretch—and the schedule won't do the team any favors in that regard, with two games against the New England Patriots remaining, along with tough games against the Tennessee Titans, Houston Texans and Green Bay Packers and another matchup against the Bills—Bowles' time in New York appears to be coming to a close.