Bowles wants Jets to go back to 'algebra' on offense
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) The equation is simple in coach Todd Bowles' mind.
Too much creativity and not enough execution on offense all adds up to losses for the New York Jets.
''I think we started doing some things that we weren't making plays as a group together,'' Bowles said Wednesday. ''And instead of going back to basics, we probably started trying to go into trigonometry when we should've stayed with algebra. I think we're getting back to basics.''
The Jets' offense was humming along through the first five games, in which New York started 4-1 and looked every bit a formidable group for coordinator Chan Gailey. The running game, led by Chris Ivory, powered the way with big runs and the offensive line was making holes and giving quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick time.
Injuries and inconsistent play have all contributed to a big-time slump on offense, with the Jets (5-5) having lost four of their past five. Ivory has slumped in recent weeks with no 100-yard games in more than a month, Fitzpatrick has 11 total interceptions and wide receiver Brandon Marshall has just one 100-yard receiving game in the past five after four straight early in the season.
''I think it's a natural progression,'' Bowles said. ''You go 4-1. The more you win, the more creative you try to be on both sides of the ball. At some point, it gets to a point where it's too creative and then you have to back down and go back to basics and try to get your feet back under you again.''
Marshall agreed with Bowles, saying that it's ''100 percent the right assessment.''
''It just hasn't been working,'' Marshall added. ''If it was working, it would be a different story. But it's not working, so we've just got to start from scratch.''
Bowles said he has spoken to Gailey about the offense, but also to defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers and special teams coordinator Bobby April. All three units have had their issues during New York's disappointing stretch.
''It's not offensive thing,'' Bowles said. ''It's a team thing.''
But as far as the ''algebra'' part of the offense that was working, Bowles sees a clear formula for success.
''Algebra was running the ball, throwing it when we can, play action and doing the things that we needed to do and playing the right type of football and playing complimentary football,'' he said. ''We're trying to get back to that.''
Fitzpatrick thinks it's a matter of the players on offense getting on the same page and executing, not that the Jets lack the personnel to be a dynamic group.
''It's one of those things that is frustrating because I think that we have a lot of the right people in here,'' the quarterback said. ''We have worked well as a unit at times and we haven't at others, so we just have to continue to practice and try to continue to keep the confidence level high and go make some plays and all that stuff.''
Faster starts are at the top of the list for the offense, particularly since that has plagued the Jets the past few weeks. New York has punted on each of its first possessions the past three games, and each of their first two drives the past two games.
Still, the Jets have outscored opponents 47-23 in the first quarter, but teams have feasted in the second by outscoring New York 97-50. That makes for a lot of halftime deficits - four in the past five games, all losses.
''I think we try to complicate things too much at times and you almost end up outsmarting yourself,'' Fitzpatrick said. ''We want to get back to doing what we are good at, whether it's me or the routes that the receivers are running, or running backs, tight ends, linemen. We're going to play to our strengths and do what we're good at and not try to be too cute.''
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