Todd Bowles has done something no one thought was possible — he made the Jets into an actual team.
Before the start of the season, we knew almost nothing about how the NFL season would unfold. The only thing that seemed to be certain was the New York Jets finishing with the first pick in the draft and the worst record in the league.
One guy didn’t believe that, and he might end up the Coach of the Year. Todd Bowles went from a coach destined to be fired to one that deserves an extension. New York destroyed Buffalo on Thursday night, thus solidifying that Bowles has coached up the Jets into something they didn’t look to be before the season: an actual team.
All of the talk heading into Thursday night’s game focused on the Bills. For as much credit as the Bills are getting for being ahead of schedule, it’s time to start putting the Jets in that category too. All of this is to the credit of Bowles and what he’s done with the team.
It can’t be overstated how bad the Jets were expected to be coming into this season. Right now there are two winless teams, but there was supposed to be a third — the Jets.
New York is not a bad team. Bad teams do not take the Falcons and Patriots to the wire, nor do they pull away like a freight train like we saw against the Bills. The Jets might not be a Super Bowl contender, but it’s time to start putting them in the category of teams that are ahead of schedule.
What’s most stunning about that is, unlike the Bills or Rams, there was no schedule to be ahead of in New York. This team was supposed to go 0-16, not be in a position for a Wild Card spot in heading into Week 10.
Todd Bowles is the reason for this success. He took a team that a lesser coach would have let wallow and waste away. Rex Ryan lets this team go 4-12, and so does a number of other coaches. Not Bowles, he has turned the Jets from a team that was every bit a laughing stock in the preseason and turned them into a young team on the cusp of contending.
With New England on as shaky ground as its been in the Brady-Belichick era, the AFC East is about to experience turnover. Rather than Buffalo being the sole collectors of that crown, the Jets proved on Thursday night that they’re ready to make a run too. The team is still a few pieces away from being in that position, but the very fact that we’re saying that about a team we once expected to go 0-16 is a testament to Bowles ability as a coach.
Getting the Jets to win just a single game this year would have been worthy of Coach of the Year, and Bowles just coached New York to its fourth. At this point, if he gets this team to a Wild Card berth, just build the statute outside MetLife and be done with it.