Listless Jets lose 28-3 to Cardinals
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) The New York Jets turned coach Todd Bowles' return to the desert into a night to forget.
Listless and overmatched, the Jets lost 28-3 to the Arizona Cardinals on Monday for their fourth straight defeat in a season that has quickly spiraled away from them.
''They beat us all the way around,'' Bowles said. ''They beat us in the secondary. They beat us on the offensive line. They beat us in the linebacker position. They beat us clean.''
New York's offense appeared at times to be going through the motions, plagued by penalties - many at inopportune times - and an inability to convert third downs.
Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick had a lackluster game, missing badly on several throws and tossing an interception in the end zone to end New York's lone sustained drive.
The Jets' run defense, one of their few strengths, was gouged for huge holes, allowing David Johnson to run for three touchdowns.
New York (1-5) dropped to the bottom of the AFC East and is ahead of only winless Cleveland for worst record in the AFC.
This was not what Bowles had in mind in his first game back in Arizona, where spent two seasons as defensive coordinator under Arizona coach Bruce Arians. Nor was it for Arians.
''I don't like it. I'm glad it's over,'' Arians said. ''But I'm glad our team won the game.''
The Cardinals (3-3) dominated from the start, scoring on Johnson's 58-yard touchdown in the opening quarter. He added a pair of 2-yard scoring runs and finished with 111 yards on 22 carries against a run defense that had allowed 68 yards per game, second-best in the NFL through the first five games.
New York's offense sputtered most of the night, settling for a field goal on its one decent drive in the first half. The beleaguered Fitzpatrick threw his NFL-worst 11th interception in the third quarter, ending any hope of a comeback, though receiver Brandon Marshall said it was his mistake that led to the pick.
Fitzpatrick finished with 174 yards on 16-of-31 passing with a passer rating of 55.0 before being replaced by Geno Smith in the fourth quarter. Smith was intercepted by Tyrann Mathieu on his sixth pass attempt.
Bowles said Fitzpatrick will remain the starter, though his willingness to bring in Smith against the Cardinals could mean he's on a short leash.
''As an offense, we are just not consistent right now and the offense goes as the quarterback goes,'' Fitzpatrick said. ''I have got to play better.''
Matt Forte was mostly an afterthought, finishing with 19 yards on nine carries, and the Jets managed 33 yards on 14 carries overall.
Marshall, New York's leading receiver, had three receptions for 70 yards, unable to break free from Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson most of the night.
''I need to do a better job of getting open,'' Marshall said. ''I played against a really good corner, but if I expect our team to be better, then I've got to make more plays.''
New York had 230 total yards, failed on its first eight third-down attempts - 2 for 13 overall - and had 10 penalties for 83 yards.
The Jets have had some key injuries, but aren't willing to blame those for their failings. They need to play better no matter who's in there.
''I don't want it to get worse and that's the fastest way for it to get worse, when you start pointing the finger, you start crying,'' Marshall said. ''You've got to look in the mirror and fix you first.''