The New York Jets are coming off of a disappointing loss to the Atlanta Falcons, during which they fell apart once again in the fourth quarter. But coach Todd Bowles isn’t blaming quarterback Josh McCown for his team’s three-game skid.
Bowles gave McCown a vote of confidence and threw a bit of shade at young quarterbacks Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg during his postgame press conference Sunday.
“I looked at all my young quarterbacks in the summer,” Bowles said. “Josh is my quarterback.”
McCown hasn’t really been the problem other than his mind-numbing interception deep in his own territory last week against the Miami Dolphins. He’s completed 69 percent of his passes for 1,583 yards, 10 touchdowns and seven interceptions. Sure, his stats are pedestrian, but one could argue McCown is making the most of the lackluster weaponry around him. McCown also has endured terrible protection throughout the season and has been sacked 22 times in the team’s first eight games.
The Jets have overachieved to this point despite the 3-5 record. Remember, this was a team that some thought wouldn’t win a single game this season. McCown has played a role in the team’s success, but hasn’t been good enough when the team falls behind.
If we want to read into Bowles’ quote a bit, it would suggest that he didn’t see enough from either Petty or Hackenberg to warrant making a change. The Jets remaining in contention has quelled the boisterous demands for Hackenberg and Petty to see the field. But the Jets also probably shouldn’t go through this season without giving Hackenberg at least a chance to show what he can do in a regular-season game.
New York’s schedule doesn’t get easier, either. The Jets host the 5-2 Bills on Thursday Night Football before traveling to Tampa Bay and hosting the Panthers and Chiefs. The losing streak could conceivably continue into December and the Jets could be out of playoff contention by then. Bowles might not need to make a quarterback change now, but he’ll certainly feel the heat if the losing streak lingers.