EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- This was a game in which a team could have lied down on its coach. The New York Jets were down two touchdowns to the Kansas City Chiefs before five minutes had even run off the clock. It would have been easy to quit on coach Todd Bowles.
Instead, the Jets roared back and fought for Bowles, beating the reeling and undisciplined Chiefs 38-31 in an unmemorable return for former Jet Darrelle Revis. While an ineffective Revis sat out the second half, the Jets finally got over their fourth-quarter woes to win just their second game in their last seven.
At 5-7 in the up-in-the-air AFC, the Jets play at Denver and New Orleans before hosting San Diego and finishing up in Foxborough. It may be a “Dumb and Dumber” chance, but the Jets still have a chance at the playoffs.
It is a credit to their coach, who is likely fighting for his job and watched his team score a season high in points in an effort to save it.
“I know how this thing goes,” said quarterback Josh McCown, who threw for 331 yards, threw a touchdown and rushed for two more. “If we weren’t doing that, you guys would be blaming him or somebody would be blaming him. It is hard not to give him the credit.”
While the other MetLife Stadium tenant, the Giants, appear as if they are about to dump their coach, Ben McAdoo, Bowles’ future is less clear. The Jets were supposed to be ripping a page out the Philadelphia 76ers’ “process” handbook, tanking for a top draft pick. Instead, they have fought, even as they remain a tad short on talent.
While Revis was mostly a nonfactor for the Chiefs in the first half and sat out the second half, the Jets’ corners had no answers for the Chiefs' Tyreek Hill, who ran free all day.
On the Jets’ side, wideout Jermaine Kearse was a beast, going for nine catches and 157 yards. Routinely, Kearse, quarterback Josh McCown and the Jets converted on third downs.
Bowles has committed to McCown all year, not liking his younger choices. McCown again showed why he is a pro. While not a great player, he is serviceable. Revis and the Chiefs had no answers for him, and they lost their composure as corner Marcus Peters tossed a penalty flag into the seats. Peters’ form was not up to McCown’s.
McCown went 26-for-36 for 331 yards, throwing one touchdown and running for two others. His 1-yard sneak for a score just prior to the two-minute warning gave the Jets the lead. It gave their coach a little more breathing room -- and even a chance at the playoffs.
“To come out of one of these finally, it is refreshing,” Bowles said.