The NFL Coach of the Year campaign for New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles starts now. Here’s why he deserves consideration.
New York Jets HC Todd Bowles was supposed to be without a job around this time people prognosticated at the beginning of the season.
- “The Jets are bad, but are they 0-16 bad?” (Five Thirty Eight)
- “Jets may challenge 1992 Seahawks as worst offense in NFL History” (CBS Sports)
- “Todd Bowles a lock to be first HC fired in 2017” (Cheat Sheet)
— Ƒunhouse (@BackAftaThis) November 3, 2017
While there was no playoff mandate according to the big men upstairs at 1 Jets Drive, apparently there was a strong sense among the media he would still be fired. This team was supposed to be a joke. Like 0-16 was brought up and that has only happened once in NFL History (2008, Detroit Lions).
From an NFL exec- "I think the Jets might have the worst roster I've seen in a decade."
— Daniel Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks) June 7, 2017
RELATED: Comparing Jets to 2008 Winless Lions
Expectations literally couldn’t have been lower for this Jets team in 2017. After the first two weeks, it looked like all the prop bettors and prognosticators hit the nail on the head with their predictions.
Until of course, everything changed.
The Jets went on a three-game winning streak. Heck, I predicted this team would win three games total in the season!
— Elite Sports NY (@EliteSportsNY) November 3, 2017
Definitely eating my slice of humble pie, although, from the string of tweets included in this post, I’ll have to share the slice.
Back to the 2017 season. The Jets beat the Dolphins, Jaguars, and Browns. On the surface, in any given year those are perennial contenders in the top-10 pick conversation for the NFL Draft. But the Jets were supposed to be that too.
Then they follow that with a three-game losing streak and again HC Todd Bowles’ job security was brought up. All of these streaks met at a head on Thursday Night Football to kick off of Week 9.
With a lo, s the Jets would’ve dropped to 3-6 that inevitably would’ve sent their season spiraling out of control. The dreams of running through the fields and prancing about playoffs would be immediately shut down.
Instead, the Jets dominated and took out an upstart Buffalo Bills team that had hopes and aspirations of sweeping the Jets and snapping their 17-year playoff drought. This was a huge game for the Jets in terms of the narrative of the rest of their season plus the perception of Todd Bowles.
Now Jets fans can rejoice and have hope. But more importantly head coach Todd Bowles has earned the respect of his players and you can tell these players are going balls to the wall for their coach.
Coach of the Year 2017 Ballot
So why should Bowles be considered outside of all the reasons previously listed? He’s doing a lot with nothing. Relatively speaking anyway.
The Jets have had one of the worst quarterback situations for decades and this year they had a 38-year old signal caller named Josh McCown. A career journeyman who has been at more stops during his NFL career than any passer before him in the history of the league.
I could pull similar headlines about McCown’s prognosis for the 2017 season. Prop bets existed on how long McCown would last before the Jets pulled him for one of the young guns on the roster (Bryce Petty or Christian Hackenberg).
McCown is arguably playing the best football of his 16 years in the league. That isn’t a coincidence. A lot of credit has to go to offensive coordinator John Morton who Bowles hired. The Jets have had a terrible history with coordinators and Bowles finally found a guy that can get the job done.
Other notable names who are also in the conversation:
All are extremely worthy of being in this conversation and all are exceeding expectations. But none greater perhaps than the odds that were stacked against one Todd Bowles.
He’s doing it with a ho-hum quarterback, a variety of undrafted and late round gems on both sides of the football, and in the toughest media market on planet Earth.
Give Bowles the damn award.